Thursday 9th April 1992 Morning surgery 10:20
“I saw Dr Lewis last week, Dr Dennis. I couldn’t get an appointment with you.”
“Dr Lewis is very good.”
“Yes, I must say, she was extremely thorough and, when I say extremely thorough, I mean extremely thorough.” Mrs Vaughan stared at my Dad.
“Have you not seen Dr Lewis before, Mrs Vaughan?”
“No, I haven’t, Dr Dennis. I have always come to see you.”
My Dad raised his eyebrows. “Do you remember when I first started in the practice, Mrs Vaughan?”
“Of course. I remember my first appointment with you. It was that awful tinnitus.”
“Yes, that was the start of a long series of appointments: weekly appointments for the most part. I will admit that, occasionally, we have managed to stretch your attendances out to fortnightly.”
“I have only ever come when I’ve needed to, Dr Dennis.”
“If you cast your mind back to that first year, Mrs Vaughan, I think you will remember that I was extremely thorough.”
“You often insisted I stripped right down to my underwear.”
“Exactly! I was, after all, fresh out of training. Since then, we’ve got to know each other. I think that my experience has helped me understand how the stresses and strains of life upset you: how they exert physical effects on you. Intuitively, I know when I need to be thorough and I know when I can afford to take short cuts. I hope you are not mistaking this expertise for negligence.”
Mrs Vaughan frowned.
“What I really came to tell you, Dr Dennis, is that I have decided to consult Dr Lewis for the foreseeable future. I hope that you won’t take that personally.”
“Of course not, Mrs Vaughan, and if there is anything you want further advice on or if you want a second opinion, don’t hesitate to come back to see me.”