On the 11th of September I worked as a general practitioner in Ireland. The day after the attacks, I was called to an Irish village pub. There was just a funeral and in the tavern where they drank for the dead man after that, an old lady fell. She sat slightly dazed, in a chair with a towel on her head and her bloodied hair Half a liter of Guinness Half empty on the table in front of her.
The wound was a bit worn and a pub full of grieving Irish seemed less practical than general practice. Unfortunately, everyone at the bar had already drank some Guinness on the Dead, so I decided to take it in my car myself. On the way, I told her that her daughter lives in New York and doesn’t know if her daughter is safe or not – she couldn’t get on the phone. She was awake half the night in fear. Finally, she had a few Irish whiskeys to sleep in, and it was so effective that this morning she fell asleep and hurried to the funeral without breakfast. Then, half a Guinness was enough to kick her out of her bar stool—resulting in my sewing job.
At the GP clinic, I sewed her up, made her a sandwich and then brought her back to the bar. I got a big kiss and a Guinness promise after my bouts. That evening, while I was enjoying Guinness, I heard that her daughter was unharmed.
A few years ago I also had a service in Utrecht where I wanted to take the patient with me. In the emergency doctor’s office car we visited an elderly man. He was in pain and had to go to the hospital – a 5 minute drive away. But because of the pain, he was too worried for a taxi, and the ambulance service could come for him only after 45 minutes because of the crowd. I excitedly said to the emergency center driver: “Then we’ll get him!” but not. Strict rules. Make it clear to the driver that you are not legally covered if something happens after that. Well, there’s nothing I like like civil disobedience, but I also don’t want to get drivers into trouble with a systemic rebellion. So, with a sad heart, I called an ambulance and we left, leaving behind the old man in despair.
You can guess which patient had the most fun with my doctor. Work becomes more fun when you can shed a little bit of your character, and you can improvise, when it’s important You are There is not some other randomness with the same protocol.
The best things are unexpected. Personal freedom and adventure make vacations so much fun. Often the best vacation memories are places you didn’t know existed and people you didn’t know you’d meet. When work leaves room for improvisation, escaping screen constraints and deviation from protocol, it sometimes feels like vacation, free and adventurous.
Rinske van de Goor General Practitioner
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