Saturday, September 28, 2013

Missed Calls but Best Friends Forever

Missed Calls but Best Friends Forever

The nurse to me: Doctor your phone is ringing in your pocket.

Me : Ah, yes, I heard it too (how can I not? it’s in my shirt pocket for god’s sake) but I am talking to this patient and can’t pick it up right now, I will call back as soon as I am done here.

10 minutes later, I dial and the phone call is connected and keeps ringing and ringing - but is not picked up. I disconnect after 4 or 5 rings as the nurse signals if she can call the next patient in.

Me: He is probably seeing patient's and will call back when he is free, I suppose. Well, send the next one in.

15 minutes later, my phone rings again. And Rings and rings.

Nurse turns towards me. I hold up my hands to her and grimace.

Me: Well, i am examining this patient and got gloves on...nearly done here, i will call him back again after I finish. Can’t touch the phone right now, won’t be sterile.

After 15 minutes I finish, remove the gloves, wash my hands and pick up the phone to dial back.

The phone rings and rings and rings....

Me:  Oh he's probably got another patient on....guess he will call me back if it’s anything important.

I disconnect the call and ask for the next patient to be shown in.

15 minutes later, my phone starts ringing again.

I glance sheepishly at my nurse and signal her to silence it while saying "there, there, Mrs..So-and-so….Don’t weep, we can put it all right easily, it will just take some time and money you know"

Nurse grins while putting the phone on silent mode.

30 minutes or so later, I call back again- the phone continues to ring but is not being answered. Nurse looks askance at me, clearly intrigued.

Me: Another patient? (I ask nurse with raised eyebrows. She shrugs)

Me: Funny, he seems to be so busy today. So many patients in one day? He is getting better than me or what?

(After an awkward pause with no answer forthcoming from the nurse)

Me: Nurse, I guess I have gone soft and lazy. Please send the patients in as they come, don’t make them wait outside while I have tea. In fact, I have decided to have tea only once a day. And also, please inform Dr.So-and-so that I am very busy and can’t be disturbed, if he keeps coming here for company to go the canteen. 

30 minutes later. The phone rings again - in vibration mode- like a frog jumping around in my pocket. I glance at the patient sitting in front of me, an upcoming actress and very pretty at that and for once am thankful that I keep the phone in my shirt pocket and not in my pants - imagine what she will make of it if the front of my pants start jumping around (misunderstanding averted or what?). I slightly lean forward towards her, incline my head and gesture her to continue talking as she goes on telling me her life story. And that phone call, oh, I will call back as soon as this is over- I assuage my conscience.

Final count for the day:

1) Missed Calls- 10 (on each side)

2) But Friendship's - Forever.

And this is how doctors spend quality time with friends- on missed calls. We understand each other intimately and don’t mind communicating with missed calls. So next time you call me and I don’t pick up immediately, rest assured that i will see the missed call and call you back as soon as I can, scouts honor.


  1. This reminds me of an overly nice friend of mine who never attends our calls but as soon as we put the receiver down, she calls us back immediately. Very annoyed, we asked her why she did that and we were quite taken aback by her reply. She said her call pack was very cheap and didn't want us to waste our balance ! Who would have expected that ?

    1. ahhha...nice set of friends you got vandana..very considerate indeed