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Letter to the Editor – Reader: Medical care not what it used to be

To the Editor:

I was plagued with earaches as a small child, until I had my tonsils removed at the tender age of six. I remember warm tears running in my ears, assuaging the horrible pain. A soothing male voice suddenly was present, and placed a cool hand on my face. He put a magic potion in my ear, that instantly stopped the pain. That was 67 years ago, and I recall the event with great clarity. He was a doctor that made house calls, something unheard of today, unless you are a veterinarian.

Our medical system is broken, and dispassionate when treating illness. Medical cartels, with a sense of imperiousness, hold us hostage to medical treatment. The credo of “Treat ’em and street ’em” is currently the trend. Dr. Mangele had a better bedside manner. At what point did medical professionals amass such a sense of power over the patients, and when did we, as patients, become so anesthetized to these practices, and the salubrious inference it was good for our health?

These Outer Banks has been home for most of my life. Upon my arrival, this was an austere place, but like a beckoning siren’s song, I came to love its rugged beauty, and understand its function as a protectorate of the inland. Healthcare was not a priority, as youth was the bulwark of strength. Aging has changed that, and I am forced to face the inevitable. Some of the physicians came here to administer the quality of care they believed in. Care that offers kindness, an element that pushes the boundary of medicine. Where is the magic elixir that soothed the pain of a small child? It is a relic of an era when kindness and empathy was an integral component of healing.

Dreena Birdsall

Kill Devil Hills

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