Right place, right time…

Here’s a wee story that my Dad told me tonight… he’s told me it a few times, but it makes me proud each time I hear it.

He tells me of when he worked as a GP and reminds me of how he made such a difference in people’s lives. And also how his stories have inspired me to try to do the same and make a difference where I can in a non medical sense, but in my life, relationships and career).

He was a single handed GP in the north of Scotland with a big practice, and one day a man (who wasn’t my Dad’s patient) came into my Dad’s surgery with his young son (who was my Dad’s patient).

After the son was treated by my Dad, the Dad and his son stood up to leave, the man went to open the door and put his left hand on the door handle.

My Dad noticed his fingers were stained with nicotine…. and decided to say something…

My Dad quite simply said to the man…

‘Do you want to see your son grow up?’

And the man said, ‘What do you mean?’

My Dad said, ‘If you want to see him grow up, stop smoking’.

Not an order, and perhaps a little risky as he didn’t know the man, but it was said, and that was that.

Then a couple of months later, the man’s wife (who was my Dad’s patient) came in for an appointment and said, ‘What did you say to my husband when he was in?’

My Dad told her, and she said that as soon as her husband came back in,he stopped smoking. She’d been on at him for years to give up and he wouldn’t. Then he went to see my Dad and that was it – the man gave up – just like that.

The right thing, said at the right time to make a real difference and change his life and maybe even the lives of the man’s family.

Pretty special I think. (But I’m probably biased). I don’t even know what decade this happened in but I’m he made a difference to so many people in his 35 odd years as a GP – Dr P!

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