She walked into the room and my immediate thought was, “Surely, she can’t be my doctor!”
She looked like she was a mere one or two years older than I am.
She’s a resident.
She’s fresh out of medical school. Sure, she technically did graduate and has a PhD. Sure, she technically is a doctor. And, she must be one of the “good ones” since UW Medicine hired her, right?
I’m thinking all of these thoughts while she introduces herself to me and then I interrupt my thoughts on “how new of a doctor she is” with “how horrible of a person I am.”
Am I an ageist? I guess I am! Am I judging her? Yes I am!
If she went into med school right from undergrad, then, indeed, she could be a mere one or two years older than I am.
A small — 5 percent — of me wanted to make up some excuse about money running out on my parking meter so that I could get up and leave. (Wouldn’t that be something for my first “adult” visit to the doctor?)
But, then I thought about Phyllis. And, other friends and acquaintances who are in medical school right now — they are probably studying their brains out right this second as I type! I thought about how one day my friend Phyllis is going to a great, professional, well-liked physician. But, the only way she will one day become this awesome doctor is if patients give her a chance and let her be their doctor.
So, no, I didn’t walk out on the kind — but very young-looking — doctor. (It made me feel slightly better when I saw a few strands of gray hairs mixed in with her dark brown locks. Gray hairs mean she was really stressed out during med school because she studied all the time, right?)
And, in all honesty, she was fine. She was nice, professional. I asked her if I could add her as a friend on Facebook. (This is a joke. I did NOT do this. I am just trying to add some humor in this dry post …) I did however casually ask her about her credentials. It went like this:
Me: So, did you go to the UW for med school?
Her: Oh, no, I went to Wash U and then Duke for undergrad. I’m still getting used to the weather here.
Me: (Internal sigh of relief that she received her education from “good, respectable schools.”)
Now, we wait. I’ll get results back from my blood work next week on whether or not I am anemic.
And, so much for trying to establish myself as a “real patient” who goes and sees her physician on an annual basis. Aren’t residencies one year? This time next year, “my” doctor won’t be here anymore. Guess I’ll just have Phyllis give me diagnoses so she gets more practice!