I figured you'd subscribed so I should tell you why I bailed.
I had a doctor once who was my GP, with a wildly busy practice, but he was also the director at a hospital and in charge of numerous boards. He was very fond of my wife, also a patient, and so abided me brusquely. “My god,” he’d say, giving me an EKG as I shook with whitecoat syndrome, “I can hardly get the pads to stick. You’re sweating like a pig.” Then he’d walk away. Beep beep.
Much of the office art was photos of Roman antiquities. As the EKG was rolling he wandered back to me. I mentioned one photo of Rome above an obesity morbidity chart. “Oh man,” he said, lighting up. “That was my early 20s. I just had my Vespa and rode around the city all day. I was so broke. I had nothing.”
“I mean,” I said, “you’re doing good now, right?” I motioned around to the nest of exam rooms, and more broadly to all the affiliations, honors, and presidencies that accrued beneath his title. Beep beep beep.
“But it was better. Nowhere to be. No daughters. No disciplinary boards. No arguing with administrators. Drinking coffee and just—”
An assistant walked a phone over to him and he listened for a minute, then yelled into the receiver, “Well, if you’d listened to me you wouldn’t have lost the leg!”
He turned back to me, well out of reverie, and said, “You’re fine.”