I like my regular doctor. He's a nice guy and when I go for chekups we usually have a few laughs. But he's in a big practice (good in that there's always somebody covering), so it's pretty much go in and take care of business. He's always done right by me, though, and I have no complaints.
We're heading off for South Africa soon and I was looking on the CDC website and noticed that they strongly recommend some vaccinations for people going there. Terry called the county and they recommended a travel medicine clinic about two miles from the house.
There, they simply advised us to come in for a chat, to discuss our itinerary and our needs. We went today and were seen together by Yvonne, a nurse-practitioner of about our age, who is one of the nicest people I've encountered in a long time. Not only did she advise us on what shots would be wise, but she went over our individual situations carefully and discussed many things. She gave us page after page of printed advice on everything from insect repellents to water recommendations (drink bottled water no matter what they tell you), along with many other practical tips from passport copies to making it a point to wear those little paper shoes at the airport when they make you take your shoes off. She said there has been a rash (sorry) of foot fungus problems traced to airports.
Yvonne and her husband are widely traveled as well, and she's made a number of trips to where we're going. So one one of the sheets (I think it was the one about insect repellents), she wrote several South African wine recommendations. That's my kind of nurse-practitioner.
It so happened there was nobody else in the waiting room, and what probably should have been a 10 minute appointment turned into an hour, because we were having such a nice time.
Finally, it was time to roll up our sleeves, get the shots, and head out. One of the vaccines we took was for hepatitis, and it made me think of our old friend Pam Kane. If only she'd met Yvonne. . .
Medical care in this country is not parcelled out fairly or equally, as we all know. We were fortunate today to see the profession at its caring, friendliest best.