Dr. Texan

When our health insurance changed a while back, one of the things I was required to do was select a General Practitioner. Prior to that, I never saw a GP. I have so many quirky medical issues that I employ an army of specialists and I have no need of a GP.

I took a lot of time selecting my GP. I thumbed through the insurance directory and narrowed down the list to doctors in my geographic area that claimed to speak English as their primary language. From the long list of two, I settled upon a doctor who was nearby and I put in a call to his office. “And it says here that the doctor speaks English, is that correct?” I ask the nurse. “Oh yes!” she says proudly, “He was born and raised right here in Texas.” And not one red flag went up, with or without a lone star.

Lest you think I have an attitude against foreign doctors, let me say here that my Ob/Gyn, to whom I pretty much owe my life and Sean’s life, is Iranian. And I do have difficulty understanding him sometimes, but he is so good, that I don’t care what he’s saying. I just trust him. After he leaves the room, sometimes I ask his nurse, “Now what did he say? Is it anything I really need to know? Do you think he noticed the Dr. Pepper on my legs?”

Nonetheless, communication is important to me and even though it was a doctor that I probably would never see beyond the initial visit, I wanted a doctor who spoke English with a degree of fluency. So I made an appointment for a complete physical.

The walls of the exam room in which I waited were lined with professionally taken pictures of Dr. Texan on his ranch, Dr. Texan and his children in a field of bluebonnets, Dr. Texan standing next to a longhorn steer. As I’m looking at the beautiful photos, I’m thinking this is great! A genuine US citizen!

About that time, Dr. Texan knocks on the door and comes in.

“Howdythayerleetlemissyimdoctorafixintotakealeedlelookieyahoodoggy. Okiedokie?”

“Um yes! Or hi? Did you say hi? No, my name is not Missy. You want to fix whaa? Did you just say hoo doggy?”

It was Dr. Suel Forrester from SNL.  He checked my blood pressure, listened to my heart and whacked my knee with a rubber mallot. He checked here for a lump, there for a lump, everywhere a lump lump. He talked the entire time. And I understood not one word. And then he left.

And then I turned to the nurse and asked, “Now what did he say? Is there anything I really need to know?”

21 thoughts on “Dr. Texan

  1. Really, it doesn’t matter what language they speak, all doctors are hard to understand. It has something to do with their brains holding more information than should be physiologically allowed.


  2. Someday I’m gonna do an entire post dedicated to Texan. It is a language in and of itself. I had a hard time not giggling at people when we first moved here.


  3. Having moved to the Great White North from Miami, I’m no stranger to communication gap. Now, instead of struggling with the Cuban accent I’ve got the South Boston and the great state of Maine’s fine dialect to contend with.


  4. It’s your destiny not to know about your medical conditions. (Read in Darth Vader-type voice.) If God wants you to know what’s wrong with you he’ll fire up one of the bushes in your flower bed and speak through it.


  5. It’s scarey when you think that half of the doctors don’t speak understandable English and the other half can’t write legibly. Somewhere between the two extremes are 6 or 7 doctors in the whole USA, who are absolutely perfect. Their calendars are booked up until 2019. I hope you never get anything your army of specialists can’t handle, Lil Missy!


  6. When I was with Kaiser in Southern Calfornia, I also chose my GP based on English as a primary language.

    But then my doctor, who was a stunningly gorgeous female, started giggling when she missed things on my chart and admitted she didn’t really remember that much from medical school.

    Um, anyone speak Hindi here?


  7. The last Doctor I saw was Pakistani (complete with turban) and spoke excellent English, but I felt uncomfortable talking with him about my female “issues.” Since my Texan OBGYN retired, I have seen mostly doctors who needed translators because English was NOT their first language. I was nervous getting those prescriptions filled….


  8. maybe it was wooo doggy he said?!

    ummm i’m from south carolina and it’s hard to understand other southerners sometimes!

    my hubby is an med/peds doctor…they make great general practice/family docs as well and have a little more training than a family practice doc, just so you know.

    love the pic of Chris Kattan from SNL!


  9. Our pediatrician was from the Philippines (maybe? I can’t remember where). We loved him dearly, but the older he got, his daughter (who was also his nurse) had to stand with him and translate. Did I say we really loved him???


  10. Oh my gosh, you are FUNNY! “Did you just say hoo doggy?” and “He checked here for a lump, there for a lump, everywhere a lump lump.”
    See, I just feel like I’m funny by quoting you in your comments.


  11. This is too funny! When I lived in Atlanta for a year, there were times I had trouble understanding some of the people around me. I’m originally from the Midwest, you see.

    It’s a good thing you have a nurse that you can clarify things with! 🙂


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