This is my tenth post on Seventy In the City and not once have I mentioned all my medical issues. You must be shocked; we oldies tend to talk a lot about our illnesses and besides, I’m sure you really want to know about my thyroid condition, my carpal tunnel syndrome, my bunion which hampers shoe shopping, and my slight heart murmur. You don’t? Well that’s disappointing.

Anyway, what I Will tell you about is our hunt for doctors after we moved into the city and realized that it was not a good idea to keep our old doctors whose offices are almost an hour’s drive away. We could die in transit!

It seems that in a big city, like almost everywhere else in Canada, patients are short of doctors. Finding a good one, someone who makes you feel comfortable and secure, can be tricky. When we asked neighbours and friends in our new neighbourhood about their doctors, we got the same response: “Not taking any new patients.”

One day, on one of Peter’s walks to visit his “girlfriend” at Sunnyland produce store, he noticed a new medical building on the corner. This could be worth a try. Sure enough, a couple of the doctors in this building were taking new patients. But the sign-up procedure was extensive. First there was an interview. It was described as a meet-the-doctor visit but we knew it was definitely an interview. We needed to pass in order to get the position.

The question was – what was the doctor looking for? Did she want a sickly patient with interesting symptons that would present a challenge?

“Oh Doctor, I have this sore neck. It could be my jaw because I bit down hard on a nut the other day. Or maybe I’ve been playing too much golf. I think my mother had arthritis in her neck when she got older. Maybe it’s that. Or my thyroid condition?”

But maybe the Doctor wanted someone healthy who would only need appointments for routine procedures…

“Oh Doctor, I feel really great. I get lots of exercise. I only drink one, well maybe two, glasses of wine a day. No unusual lumps, except for fat of course, ha ha. Regular bowel movements every morning at 7:00, or maybe 7:30. Is that enough to pass?”

Then we discovered another problem. There were only Female doctors at this facility. Peter turned red-faced at the news. He had never been examined by a female, well that’s not quite true, but he was nervous anyway.

We dawdled for a while, considering our options. We checked out the doctors on the College of Physicians and Surgeons website and were relieved to discover no bad marks against either of them. Finally we signed up for the meet-and-greet. It was gruelling but we were both sent to the next step, a visit to the medical lab to get the whole truth.

We found the lab at a nearby subway stop. We walked in and searched for chairs in the crowded waiting room. We sat and sat and sat. It was ominously quiet; everyone thinking their own dark thoughts. Nobody was even looking at their phone! After what seemed like hours, it was our turn.

We were prodded, poked and pinched. The nurse took so much blood that I finally begged her to please leave a little for me. The x-ray technician put me through a circus act of strange contortions in order to photograph every angle. The urine sample, well you probably know how embarrassing it is to be carrying that little bottle back through the waiting room to deliver it to some lucky nurse. Not a good idea to try hiding it in your purse or pocket either.

Finally it was all over. We had both passed! We went out for lunch to toast our new-found doctors. And yes, we had a glass of wine. Or two.


PS For the next two weeks I will be taking a break from the city and going to a place where there is no internet service. You’ll hear from me again on Tuesday August 12th. Unless my thyroid acts up….

4 thoughts on “Doctor…doctor!

  1. Sue, you are are a riot!! I will miss your blogs over the next two weeks. Enjoy your vacation and I’m sure you will have lots of new tales to tell, even if not in the city. Moira


  2. Sue, I’m actually looking for a new doctor too, although one much farther north closer to King City, as my doctor in Richmond Hill has retired. Now I have some insight into the process from yours and Peter’s experience!
    Have an excellent time away on holiday and away from internet. : )


  3. We have shortage of doctors here too but a surplus of dentists which is convenient as so far I’ve been twice over the last few years. They are really good too!


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