July 21, 2021

She said…I hate living with these old people…in this old people’s house…

You mean assisted living?

Yes…I hate it

Why…they take good care or you…she grimaced, frowned and spit all at the same time…yes…but the food sucks…I hate this wheelchair…I hate my clean apartment and these old people…they’re just old.

We sat there a minute…as I sized her up…legs wrapped in ace bandages holding back what I guessed was failure of the lymphatic system and the inevitable pooling of fluid and swelling of her legs…the disappearance of ankle bones and curves and I’d bet there was probably…


“Son, these are the best days of your life, you just don’t know it yet,” that was his response to my mumbled defense. I was attempting to assist Dr. John as a 25 year old freshly minted intern. Dr. John Ochsner remains the best technical surgeon I’ve ever seen but that’s not what I remember. I remember Dr. John hurling insults without prejudice causing rhetorical contusions on everyone within reach of his voice. It was difficult to do the work of an Intern in the heart room and smother the laughter exploding inside me as Dr. John insulting his cardiothoracic…


Photo by Guillaume de Germain on Unsplash

“Intern to the Ramp,” it was my turn. Charity Hospital New Orleans 1992 and I’d been dodging this moment. I’d seen dead old people which is no big deal, long life bad heart you smoke you will die. We all die eventually or so it seems except for Elisha and Enoch, they’re the only two who escaped this place alive. I’d never seen a dead kid, I knew kids died like everyone else but thus far they had died in my absence. One day a kid is getting some kind of chemo which everyone but the kids the parents and…


My favorite middle son Seth died. A giant personality of a man gone at 22 years of age. It’s been nearly 3 years. The third year is the most difficult. The first year or two you think, ok, this is all a dream. That bastard was always late, he’ll be home soon enough. It’s the third year that it kind of sinks in, he’s gone and I’ll have to find a way to make peace and live with this deep sadness that lies within. …


Ok people, let’s have a conversation about these masks they want us to wear…it’s simple, wear your damn mask, period, that’s it. It is not suffocating you I promise, I’m a surgeon, I’ve worn these things all my life. I’ve worn them for literally hours upon hours and never touched them because I couldn’t touch them and I’ve never passed out. Nurses and surgical techs wear these things all day long and we have the same maladies common to everyone out there. We all have asthma, COPD and we’re fat none of our masks fit well. All of our masks…


Doc…it’s good to see you…it’s been a long time…you look great…you haven’t aged a day in the ten years…that’s when I saw you last…All the while I’m thinking…how do you know…I got this mask on…you have no idea what I look like and what do you want because I’m getting slathered up for something…

Doc…I got a story to tell…you got time to listen…sure…Sure…I’d love to listen…that’s what I tell him anyways…all the while I’m thinking…maybe I want to hear this story…we’ll see…I know I’ve got to listen because…if he gets one of those do I like my doctor survey’s…I…


It’s 2am.

The phone rings.

The perky voice on the other end says, “Dr. Donaldson, can you hold for Dr. Lacy?”

This is a disingenuous question. She might as well said, “Dr. Donaldson, Dr. Lacey wants to talk to you but not so much that he waited by the phone for your return call so I’m going to look for him. It might take a while and there’s nothing you can do but stay awake and hold onto the phone and that will be ok with you.”

Dear God I hate being on call. It seemed like an eternity before…


It’s 2am.

The phone rings.

The perky voice on the other end says, “Dr. Donaldson, can you hold for Dr. Lacy?”

This is a disingenuous question. She might as well said, “Dr. Donaldson, Dr. Lacey wants to talk to you but not so much that he waited by the phone for your return call so I’m going to look for him. It might take a while and there’s nothing you can do but stay awake and hold onto the phone and that will be ok with you.”

Dear God I hate being on call. It seemed like an eternity before…


I am a practicing urologist. I go room to room most every day treating the urologic needs of my community. As is my habit, I often ask the people I meet something about themselves for instance, what they did for a living or where they’re from because God has not gifted me with a memory for names. Fact is it’s embarrassing how quickly I forget names but once a story is heard it’s like I can’t ever shake a story. So I asked this man of Color “Where are you from”?

“ Sunflower, Sunflower Mississippi” he said.

“ Where is…

Dr Scott Donaldson

Urologist, public school educated, nationally syndicated radio show, failed politician, teacher of surgeons, husband, father, 3 dogs and one old truck

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