By LUCY ORMONDE
Ringing the doctor to receive test results. It’s not an easy call to make.
But when my friend had to do it recently, I swear she may as well have been talking to one of her best friends.
I couldn’t hear what the doctor was saying, but the tone in my friend’s voice was of someone who was assured and comforted by the person she was speaking to.
Like it was a long-lost friend.
And luckily for my friend, it was good news. But if the situation was reversed and it was a different kind of phone call, I can only imagine she had the right person on the other end of the line to talk her through it.
It’s hard to find that kind of doctor.
And if there’s anything I’ve learned recently, it’s that.
The first time I moved out of home, I went to a small country town around two hours from Melbourne — the city I’d grown up in. It was a job that took me there and I rented a unit with a friend and attempted to make a life in the city of just 11,000 people. But there were some things from home I just couldn’t let go of.
And one of those things was my gorgeous doctor.
There were doctors in that little town I moved to. And I’m sure they were good ones too. But in the ten or so months that I was living there, I never once went to see them.
Instead, I’d take a day off work and drive the four-hour round trip to see my childhood doctor — the woman who’d been seeing me from the day my mum waltzed into her office holding a 6-month-old baby with a bad case of croup.
That doctor knew my name, my medical history, where I grew up and what school I went to. She’d always give me a jelly baby after an injection (even at the age of 22) and whenever I’d walk into her office, she’d always ask me how the rest of my family was.
Was my doctor better than the doctors at the local medical surgery? Probably not. When you’re sick, there’s something really comforting about speaking to someone you know and trust. And that’s why, despite the distance, I kept going to see her for as long as I could.