We got a letter in the mail earlier this month from our pediatrician. He’s retiring after 35 years in the business. This is the latest in a string of tragedies to befall our family.
Okay, that might be overstating it a little bit, but the truth is that Dr. Gately has been such a great doctor. His office is in his house, his receptionist is so friendly and excited to see the kids, and he is one of the only doctors (besides my own pediatrician, Dr. Allred) who I feel like has taken the time to see me and my family as people. He devotes 30 minutes to each patient and spends that time chatting and observing in a way that feels like sitting down with a grandpa rather than an interrogation about your child’s progress.
Dr. Gately is our kind of doctor. He’s the kind of doctor that is very honest about what is actually something to be concerned about and what is just something to let pass, and he’s inclined to keep things very calm and cool. But I’ve also heard him on the phone with the hospital, making sure some of his charges were admitted without trouble and without delay.
He has spoken with me on the phone when I wasn’t able to bring Oliver into the office and talked me through treatments and concerns. He’s squeezed us in on a Saturday when we had our first run-in with pink eye. And he’s educated us about scarlet fever as well. Plus he has the coolest waiting room toys ever.
I’ve been taking Elsa to a different doctor for the past several months because Dr. Gately couldn’t give vaccines any more. Elsa’s doctor is good, I’m sure, but she’s no Dr. Gately. With her, it’s not personal, it’s business. I’m sad about that, and while I can’t fault the care or the wait times (or even the waiting room toys), I’m tempted to look around some more to see if I can find someone a little more . . . personable. A little more like Dr. Gately.