By Fidelma Cook | May 30, 2015
There’s a doctor here who, while considered a superb practitioner of his profession, has – to put very kindly – no bedside manner.
The Brits are, in the main, signed up to him because he prides himself on his spoken English. And indeed many of them have reason to be very grateful to him because he has undoubtedly saved lives by his immediate referrals to specialists.
Like all doctors here, it seems, he has no age blindness and strives as hard to save an 80-year-old as he would a teenager, and among the expats there are more of them to save. But basically he is perceived by some as an arrogant, judgmental and rather supercilious man who antagonises as much as he heals.
The second year I was here, I went to him for the first time after an initial meeting to register. I had a stomach ache that wouldn’t go away and felt generally hellish. He was in a foul mood as an obviously temporary and totally flustered receptionist kept interrupting him by phone or in person.
With no preamble or examination, he told me angrily I was an accident waiting to happen. Maybe not then, or even in six months, but I was on the autoroute heading into a brick wall. Bam. Finis. Splattered.
“Hello? Have you got me confused with somebody else?” I wanted to ask but I was so stunned I just stared at him. My jaw may even have dropped.
Fair enough – I hadn’t put any slap on for my consultation and I only needed to growl “Bonjour” for him to know he was facing a serious smoker, but still a bit harsh, I thought.
Anyway, as I wrote at the time, he sent me for every test imaginable and all came up absolutely fine. Some better than that, actually; much to my own surprise.
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