A newly uncovered secret to finding the best doctors

My brother and I worked this out together, while he was telling me some jokes his internist had recently delivered and I was LOL-ing.

My reaction, as always, when my bro talks about his internist, was a renewal of an multi-year grump — at myself. When our previous internist retired (she wasn’t old, and I’m still feeling she left us too soon), she gave us a list of three internists she felt were up to her standards (she was so strict she once fired a patient who misbehaved behind her back). Sharon had vetted this trio to accept her patients. (“Accept” is an odd word in this context. It isn’t as grudging as it sounds; it conveys a physician’s opinion of health insurance policies, not about the patient’s character.*)

Sharon, our previous internist, told my brother and me that only one of those internists had a sense of humor. What she actually said was, “If you’d prefer someone who’s funny, this is your guy.”

Hey, yeah. I wanted someone funny. So did my brother and called Peter, the new internist, immediately. I didn’t need an appointment for months, so I didn’t call immediately. When I did call, all of Peter’s slots were full. That made me so sad and still does. I called one of the other two on Sharon’s list. Not only wasn’t she funny, I didn’t like her that much, an unusual feeling for me. I usually love my physicians.

Now I have a new internist. He’s not funny, either, but I like him anyway and there is humor in the way he dresses.

Anyway, as my medical “team” expanded to address glitches to an assortment of my body parts, I found wit, along with expertise.

So that’s the secret we’ve discovered. Sure, pay attention to a doctor’s experience and education, but on top of those qualifications, funniness is the secret to finding a great doctor.

P.S. My sister and brother-in-law are both really, really funny, as is my doctor niece.

*How many times have I yelled at someone who told me, “My doctor will no longer accept my insurance, so I have to find another doctor.” No. No, no, no. You ask your doctor what insurance policies she will accept, and change insurance companies, not physicians.

Must I explain the logic? Well, I’m not going to. Figure it out for yourselves.

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