His rooms at number 12, in the centre of the village, are behind a pair of large carved wooden doors. Unpainted shutters shield his waiting room from the narrow street and passing traffic. Brass name plates are the only hint that a professional is in residence otherwise this house would be no different from any other in the street. A solid brass knocker on the outside of the door is the way to announce an arrival. One knock and straight to the waiting room on the left. Two knocks, by prior arrangement and I am whisked off to the right – straight inside the surgery to tell French doctor of my current emergency. I just love this system. What happens when two people arrive and knock twice at the same time? I am not sure, but so far I have followed the rules and turned left or right at the appropriate times without problem.
The French doctor listens and is interested to know all my news. He never seems pressed for time, although I am sure he is. He has that wonderful knack of making me feel like the only patient on his list. He wants to know where I have been and what I have been doing. He is interested in my life and where it takes me and his idea of a diagnosis is an understanding of all the major elements in my world. It is not until French doctor has covered all these bases and suggested ever so gently that life is about un equilibre and that I have responded in kind to ask of his wife and children that we will we get down to business. A rendezvous with the French doctor is a tonic; his caring and concerned bedside manner is as good as any therapy and his treatments have done the trick every time.
The French doctor is a star when it comes to the house call. I am really a city girl living the country life so these quaint old fashioned habits appeal to my cynical ‘expect-no-such-thing-as-a-home-visit’ mindset. A house call when needed is the norm here and the visit is always a pleasure not a pain for my French doctor. Again time is never of the essence and apart from his wise council and good humour he arrives with his personal dispensary so that minor aches, pains, cuts, bruises, coughs and colds can be dealt with there and then. No mad dash to the pharmacy for prescriptions, ointments or bandages at an uncivilised hour; les medicines are all in his trusty holdall. I am always impressed and surprised by this, although the French would expect nothing less; they are rather partial to a potion.
The French doctor is a rare gem… xv
The fact that my French doctor is charming does not bias me in any way; I must disclose this before I start. I find him cute I will admit but I have never made an emergency visit without a reason and I have certainly never demanded a house call without just cause. I promise.
The French doctor is a novelty to me. What I mean by this is that his style of doctoring and his way of treating are very different in comparison to others that I have encountered in his profession. Mine is always patient, he is always kind, he is almost never in a hurry, he is well informed and he refers well… he is the perfect medico.