Dr. Frannie Friendly is up at 6:44 (her alarm was set for 6:30 but she hit snooze a couple of times), takes a speedier than usual shower, eats a smaller than usual breakfast, and then gets on the road. She parks in her reserved space at the medical center at 7:45, just enough time to check her messages before her 8:00 appointment.
Between 8:00 and 9:30, Dr. Friendly sees 10 patients. Yes, you read that right—10. It is a lot of super-speedy in-and-out. There is a flu going around, and most of her patients are here to see her for that reason. She prescribes Tamiflu, an antiviral medication, to each of them, suggests they get rest and drink plenty of fluids. She also makes her personal recommendation that they stop by Morey's Deli on the way home and pick up a few bowls of their soon-to-be-world-famous matzo ball soup. Dr. Friendly has a scientific mind, but that stuff has magical properties, she's sure of it.
At 10:00 she has a daily clinical meeting where she gets together with the other doctors and they discuss cases of particular concern. There may be a patient with symptoms that are unfamiliar to one doctor but which another doctor has had some experience with. This opportunity to bounce ideas off one another is a particular benefit of working in a medical center alongside other skilled, knowledgeable doctors rather than working basically alone in private practice. Eleven heads are better than one. Especially when all 11 of those heads have been to medical school.
Between the end of this meeting and lunch, Dr. Friendly sees another eight patients. A few more flus, a sprained ankle, someone else who has been experiencing a sharp, stabbing pain every time she blinks her right eye. (Turns out it was an eyelash. Dr. Friendly was able to get it out.) She also squeezes in some time to dictate a couple of letters to her assistant and arrange for a few blood tests. After polishing off her Cobb salad for lunch (the most delicious of all salads, we might mention. Eggs, bacon, chicken and cheese? Yes, please.), it's back to work.
Dr. Friendly sees another 17 patients in the afternoon and into the evening, including several who need scripts written for a variety of colds and flus, a couple who need injections, one patient with chest pain who is referred to a specialist, and another with chest pains who is simply wearing a shirt that’s too tight. She's not sure, but this last patient might be related to the one with the eyelash in her eye. She wouldn't be surprised.
At 6:00, Dr. Friendly checks her messages one last time and finishes up making phone calls and dictating any last correspondence before closing up shop and heading home to her husband, for whom she had promised she would fill out a prescription for good lovin'. Hopefully he hasn't been getting any of that over-the-counter.