Saturday, August 11, 2007
An unused bedroom is full of old papers -- among much else. Today, my wife was doing some excavation therein, and found some weathering evaluation forms, from a few years back. My clinic began a process some time ago, which (I think) it continues, whereby for every physician every year (now numbering well over 200), a random 100 patients are sent questionnaires, asking about various aspects of their ecounters with that doctor. All docs got summaries; overall, I'd say it was an extremely useful thing. The batch my wife found brought back long-forgotten memories.
Most were unsigned. One was neatly typed, the others hand-written in style varying from scrawl to neat and grandmotherly. Some brief, some overflowing the alloted spaces. The ages were indicated, and they ranged from 5 (in a mother's hand) to 85. Without exception, what they said was really nice, every last one of them. "You made me feel so comfortable." "You really seemed to care." "You explained everything clearly and thorougly." "I've never had a doctor who came to see me twice a day. I really appreciated it." "I was scared, and you took the time to make me feel comfortable." "Well, you didn't tell me how great I'd feel." "I wish you were my regular doctor."
And here's the thing: while I was reading them, I felt warm and good. Now, I feel really bad. I tossed them in the garbage. (No, not the garbage of course: the recycling bag.) I think it's a Woody Allen sort of thing.