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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The "Gonna Miss The Close-Talker" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Sitting on the doctor's chair while he finishes putting a bandage on the two locations he cut from my forehead which he feared were skin cancer.  Dr. Brod has been my dermatologist for years and years.  I began going to him when my family doctor found something on my forehead during a routine yearly physical.  Must have been close to twenty-five years ago when that took place.  He suggested I see a dermatologist and gave me Dr. Brod's phone number to make an appointment.  As soon as I went to see him I knew I was going to like the guy.  Very personable and extremely efficient.  Over the years he must have taken close to a pound of flesh from me for biopsies.  I have had three MOHS surgeries that removed cancers from my head since my first trip to visit with him.  In my opinion, the guy has been a life-saver.  Then one year my daughter needed to see a dermatologist and my wife took her see Dr. Brod.  
Dr. Bruce Brod ... "The Close-Talker"
When Carol and Brynn got home after her initial visit I  asked what her initial thought of her visit with him was ... "He's a close-talker!"  Now, if you have ever watched the TV show, Seinfeld, you may remember the fellow who would get right in your face when he talked to you.  They called him the close-talker.  I must admit it fits Dr. Brod to a "T".  He loves to talk to you and when he greets you he gets extremely close to your face as he talks.  My guess is he is beginning his examination as soon as he sets eyes upon you and he needs to get close to do that examination.  On my last, and final visit with Dr. Brod a few weeks ago, he entered the exam room and introduced me to a young girl who was going to watch him examine me so she could see what he looks for on someone who has had close to 100 items either frozen or cut from his body in the past.  "And ... as you can see, Mr. Woods has been out in the sun quite a bit," he told the intern.  We have gotten to know each other quite well in the past with me taking photo of his kids when they were in Middle School and I handled the yearbook for the school.  Also got to know him since he is the Dermatologist for the Baltimore Orioles as well as the local Lancaster Barnstormers.  We always seem to talk baseball between the ... "Do you care if I take this off," or "I'm going to have to freeze this one," or "Tell me how you get all these things when you tell me you wear a hat."  Well, today he tells me he will no longer be my dermatologist.  "Not that I don't enjoy your visit. Heavens, you have kept be in business all these years!"  He went on, "I've decided it's time to teach the next generation of doctors how to become dermatologists.  I'm going to teach at the University of Pennsylvania as well as make visits to the Children's Hospital in Philadelphia to see how I can help them with skin problems they may have."  "Wow, you know I'm going to miss you," I told him.  "You have kept me alive all these years. Who's going to continue to do that?"  He told me he was going to trust me to one of the many females who are still in the practice at Dermatology Associates.  He made a recommendation to me and after talking about baseball once again, departed with a warm handshake.  I'm going to miss the guy my family has grown to know as the close-talker.  I knew went I went to visit him every so many months that I was in the hands of perhaps the best dermatologists in the country.  I'm sure he will enjoy his next endeavor and wish him the best, but will find it hard to visit the office from now on and not get to see his face about six inches from mine.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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