The book I am currently reading has a part that the female protagonist visits an old doctor. An elderly doctor with old furniture in the waiting room and has no assistance, like a receptionist or a nurse – it is a one man medical show.
That reminded me of Doctor Means, the doctor I used while growing up. Doctor Means saved my life when he brought me into the world, which I think amazed him as much as it did other people. He was always glad to see me and I don’t think he ever charged me a fee. He was proud of me.
His office was above Atherton’s Drugstore in the Anderson Building on the SW corner of the Square. You walked up a flight of stairs. Because of a gas leak that segment of the building was blown to bits on Halloween night 1963 – 8 people were killed.
Doctor Means’ office was blown to bits too. I think he was retired by then.
He was a one man operation. You just walked up those stairs and go in his waiting room and have a seat. You could hear him tinkering around in his inner-office, and I suppose he could hear you. Eventually he would come out and invite in.
What I was thinking about this morning when I thought of him is that I don’t remember ever making an appointment or calling to get an appointment. When you had a cold or something, you just went to his waiting room and take a seat… usually, sitting by yourself.
Back then many people didn’t have phones so maybe that is the reason you weren’t expected to call and make an appointment. I am guessing that more people didn’t have phones then, in the late 40s and early 50s, than don’t have computers today.
Times, they are a-changing.