A visit to a  doctor can be a dehumanizing experience, which is why I usually try to avoid them. But lately, I had an issue with vertigo, and called for an appointment with a specialist affiliated with a teaching hospital.

Upon making my first appointment, I was coldly informed I would  have to wait three months before I could be worked into his busy schedule.  That should have told me something, but I thought it best to wait, rather than going to one of those walk in clinics where a twenty something, just out of med school, would misdiagnose my problem.

The doctor introduced himself, and asked about my symptoms.  I began to describe them in detail,  but after about 15 seconds he seemed to lose interest.  When I stopped talking, he ordered some  tests.  After they were done, I waited about half an hour before my doctor returned, accompanied by a young intern.  That was when I began feeling like a guinea pig, as he calmly informed me I should probably have an MRI of my head just to rule out something very ominous. Being somewhat claustrophobic & loud noise averse, I didn’t like that idea, so he prescribed some OTC meds and said to come back next month..
The medication was helpful, but I was still having some symptoms .  On the second visit,  I waited a full hour in a freezing cold room until he showed up. This time, he had another intern who stood mutely at attention as the doctor tried to find me on the computer and determine  just exactly why I was there.  I wondered if my case would be interesting enough for a case study—probably not.  But I definitely felt less like a human being than a “patient,”  He asked how I’d been getting along, but when I tried to ask him some questions and carry on a conversation about my symptoms, he lost interest.  The poker faced intern stared at me as if I were a specimen under a microscope.  There was no mention of an MRI, so perhaps the doctor decided not to waste  any more time  with a person who balked at having an expensive, unpleasant test.  Okay, I get it. He doesn’t do simple.  At any rate, he told me to continue with the meds, and suggested I come back in six months.


Finally,  I got on the internet and found some simple ways to alleviate my problem.  The internet cares about you! Key in a word or a question, and you’ll get a whole list of links that tell you everything you want to know and answers all your questions.  

In defense of physicians, and especially surgeons: psychologists say that doctors gradually become less empathetic as a defense mechanism against the painful procedures they must perform.  And, too much empathy could make a doctor less objective when making a diagnosis.   Last but not least, if they got too emotionally involved with each and every patient, they’d be worn out. And so, at the end of the day, patients are seen not as persons, but as part of an overall system.



Have you seen the size of green peppers this season?  This hot, humid summer has produced the largest, shiniest peppers we’ve seen for a long time.  And their superabundance this time of year means they are bargain priced.  So what are you waiting for?  This is one of the most people pleasing entrees you can imagine.  Yes, it’s going to take some extra pans and a little more time than usual, so pick an afternoon when you’ve plenty of  time to spend in the kitchen.  And if you know someone who’s having a tough time, you  might make an extra batch and bring them this farm fresh comfort food.

Most recipes don’t itemize the pans and dishes you’ll use, but you will need:
One or two large pans for steaming the peppers.
A smaller sauce pan to cook the rice.
A 10 inch skillet.
An 8X8X2 in. baking dish  
This is going to take up a lot of room in your kitchen, but it’s a labor of love, so clear the counters, and go for it!
6 large green peppers
1 pound lean ground beef
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 cup cooked rice (see package directions)
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
¾ cup grated cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt (cut this in half if you watch  your sodium intake)
Cut a slice from the stem end of each pepper. Remove seeds and membrane. Cook peppers in enough boiling water to cover for 5 minutes; drain.
Cook and stir the crumbled ground beef, onion and garlic in skillet until beef is light brown. Stir in rice, salt,  ½  the tomato sauce and grated cheese. Pour remaining sauce over peppers. Cover dish and bake in 350 oven 45 minutes. 
Uncover; bake 15 minutes longer. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  6 servings: 290 calories per serving.