Barefoot Doctors

(Through Rose-Coloured Glasses)

Modern day barefoot doctors are everywhere.

Here is a day in the life of Dr. Chen, a real doctor, trained by a real medical school.

As usual, Dr. Chen was an hour late for his clinic. His first patient came in, a fragile old lady who has been with him since day one of his practice.

“Good morning, doc. My friend Abby has exactly the same problems like mine. This’s what she is taking, can I have some too?” She produced a tiny white pill, carefully wrapped in her handkerchief.

It took Dr. Chen 30 minutes to extract a medical history out of her and prescribed the appropriate medication.

Next came Ed, briefcase in hand, always a sign of big trouble. He sat down in his chair, and whipped out a heap of computer print-outs from his briefcase. “Here, doc, I looked up my problem of cholesterol on the Internet, and got tons of information. Can you go through them with me?”

It took lots of diplomatic maneuver and patience to satisfy Ed’s quest for medical knowhow, and tendency for self treatment.

“Doctor, see what I got here.” Excitedly Leila rushed into the room. She pulled out bottle after bottle of pills, from her huge handbag.

“The Avon lady recommended these anti-aging miracle pills. What do you think? Should I take them?”

By the time Dr. Chen convinced her otherwise, it was already time for lunch.

A walk thorugh the mall, found a shopkeeper standing in front of his store, pointing to a basketful of dried herbal stuff and yelled at anyone who cared to listen.

“This herbal medicine, will help diabetes, lower cholesterol, prevent heart attack and even booster your performance.”

Another barefoot doctor honing his skill, Dr. Chen quickened his pace.

Back in the office, he checked his emails. Up pop one from his buddy Sam. And what did he sent him!? ‘What to do when you have a heart attack, with no one around’. The solution: Hold your breath and cough, to simulate a resuscitation.

“My God, if the heart attack doesn’t kill you first, this definitely will,” mumbled Dr. Chen.

That night, Dr. Chen went home. His whole body was aching and was running a low grade fever. He got the flu from one of his patients.

His mother met him at the door. One look and she went back to her room, re-emerged quickly, a bottle in hand.

“Take these, you are sick.”

“What! This is what I prescibed you last week for your toe infection.”

Everybody can be a doctor, well, at least the barefoot type.

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