DOCTORS – Past, Present, Fictional

I love history. I love fantasy. However, I do not have much love for doctors. It all started with my paternal grandmother who, when I was a child, at the end of every visit, gave me and my siblings a shot of something or other. “Who wants to go first?” She also was the one who delivered me, and my siblings, and my father, aunt, and cousins, too. Amazing female doctor back in the day. But scary, too.

My elderly maternal grandmother had trouble proving she was an American citizen because when she was born, her doctor made only monthly horseback trips to the county seat to record births and deaths. We didn’t discover until she was in her 80’s that he never recorded her birth.

In Clara Barton’s day (1800’s), nurses gained their training through experience.

I acknowledge that the medical field has come a long, long way through the centuries, an example being how butchers were surgeons because they knew how to cut meat. With all the advances in medicine, I would rather go to a dentist or doctor in 2017 than one in the 12th century. No contest. But I still don’t have to like it.

Today, when I go to a doctor for an annual visit and feel terrific going in, I end up feeling depressed as the doctor finding unrelated things physically wrong with me.

In my fictional stories, mostly my characters are fit and healthy. Oh, there’s the occasional black eye or broken bone, and a post-battle hospital tent, and even (spoiler alert) characters who perish. But all these are all only briefly touched upon for the adventure, the story, goes far beyond, for health care providers are in every age and every location.

Are your characters perpetually healthy, or do they get injured or ill? What does their response say about their character? What sort of medical care do they receive? By whom? Or what?

Keep on writing.

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