fortunate adjective
Definition: having good luck
Synonyms: advantageous, affluent, auspicious, blessed, born with a silver spoon, bright, charmed, convenient, encouraging, favorable, favored, felicitous, flourishing, fortuitous, gaining, get a break, golden, happy, healthy, helpful, hopeful, in luck, in the gravy, lucky, on a roll, opportune, overcoming, profitable, promising, propitious, prosperous, providential, rosy, sitting pretty, successful, sunny side, thriving, timely, triumphant, victorious, wealthy, well-off, well-to-do

Yes, I cut and pasted fortunate to the title of this page because it fits me so well. I have indeed been all or most of those. In maintaining a life of medicine, I have been definitely blessed. Back then, moonlighting and the like was permitted in the profession. I don’t know if it was legal, but it was not looked closely upon and a Lot of doctors got a Lot of experience that so very unfortunately those graduating today are not. My FPN nurse wife Mary is literally having to teach med students (on rotation), interns and even residents…how to suture. This is quite pathetic. Every doctor, regardless of speciality should at least know how to suture. The funny thing is, Mary won’t let ME teach her how to suture. I’m sure she does ok, but I’m also sure she could do better and faster. Speed being of some importance especially in todays medicine. I took my internship and 3 yr surgical residency at Bay View Hospital, in Bay Village Ohio. Possibly forgotten by now, is that it was the home of Sam Sheppard D.O., who’s family owned the hospital, a large mansion on Lake Erie, that was converted into a hospital. At the time of my training, Sam was in prison for the murder of his wife years before, but I met him and sailed with his son Sam. His 2 brothers Steve and Richard still ran the hospital and it seemed to do well. Steve was nothing but kind to me for the majority of my time there. I sailed the Port Huron to Mackinaw race with him on his sloop Aeolus at least twice. Steve practiced general surgery, his brother Richard, Ob-gyn. As soon as I let it be known I wanted to be a surgeon, doors opened for me. I was asked by a number of docs to moonlight and cover their practices on occasion, which helped a lot with my stipend. I was alone in these practices and it was pretty much direct from the seat of my pants. Oddly, when we graduated from PCO…we were docs from day one. No residency in family practice and I don’t think many of us lost patients or caused much harm. On the other hand, we did save a lot of people some pain and life that they would not have gotten otherwise. Naturally, there were a lot of very new experiences for me and I’ll relate a couple now and probably more later as they pop into my aging mind. Harry Hall was a general practitioner in Parma, Ohio, who had a fairly nice lucrative practice. He had an x-ray machine but unlike today, they were hand develop x-rays, and yes, I learned to do that….way before med school. There was an old D.O. obstetrician who’s name I have forgotten, but I do remember his famous “Orange Pekoe” trap-door episiotomy that was un-necessary in every case I witnessed, but took forever to close when it was done…especially if he was the one who closed it. Anyway, he apparently would send in a pregnant patient for “pelvimetry” before delivery to be sure there was room for the baby to come out. This too, is during a time when I saw some really bizarre manipulations to determine maternal outlet vs head measurements. I think sonography has solved that problem. So, I am covering his practice one day when the nurse says this patient is here for a pelvimetry x-ray. WHAT?? I can’t do that I said. The nurse said, oh, just shoot an x-ray and call him. The patient came in, and didn’t look very pregnant. I felt relieved. I asked when she was due…and she said “Next Week”! No way. No possible way at all. So, I shot the film and developed it and I was right…there was no evidence of any baby on the film. I called the doc, and said his patient was there for pelvimetry, and that I’d shot a film and there was no evidence of any baby. He said “thank you” and hung up. I never did hear the outcome but I often and still wondered what the hell was going on. That poor woman thinking she was pregnant and going to deliver next week but no baby present. Oh yes, I have Lots and Lots of such stories! Yes, I have been uncommonly fortunate.

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