Country doctoring- Virginia there still is a Santa Claus

Long thought extinct from the American health care frontier one has been found alive and serving his rural patients -a dedicated doctor that make house calls. One has been loving his work for 50 years!

In Yoakum, Texas a sleepy country town, that sprang up around a railroad junction  folks knows Doc Watson.

Over the last 50 years, this tall and lanky family general practitioner welcomed many of the town’s citizens and doctored most of the others.

“I never wanted to be anything other than a family doctor,” Watson said as he sat in the hospital cafeteria on a recent December day. Pork chops and chicken fried steak (“good home cooking,” noted Watson) were on the menu, a reminder of the small-town atmosphere that drew the Baylor College of Medicine graduate to Yoakum in 1958.

The frayed and stained  doctor’s bag he brought with him is marked by the scars of countless moments of birth, death and recovery. Over the years he has served several generations of patients in this town of 6,000 about 100 miles east of San Antonio.

He began his practice charging $3 for office visits and $5 for house calls, but he often accepted other kinds of payment including homemade pies, fresh vegetables, deer meat and sausages. One grateful patient gave Watson, a hardcore golfer, one of her husband’s old 2-irons. It still sits in a corner of his office.

“He’s always right there when you need him,” said Karen Barber, CEO of the Yoakum Community Hospital, where a wing is named after Watson. “There’s never a second thought for him. He just does what needs to be done.”
The night Janet Jaco’s little girl had to be rushed to the hospital with a sudden hemorrhage, David Watson walked the four blocks from his house to the Yoakum Community Hospital every hour on the hour to check on his patient and offer a comforting shoulder to her worried mother.

The night the hospital urgently needed blood for an obstetrics patient, Watson rushed down from his office to donate some of his O-negative, then stayed to call in other townspeople with the right blood type. (He knew who they were.)

Flooded roads  did not stop him on night  from getting to an ailing neighbor; he simply jumped on the tractor, put one arm around the driver and  the other held his worn leather doctor’s bag as they went to the hospital.

Dr. Watson received the Country Doctor of the Year award this month. The honors is awarded annual to a primary care physician who best exemplifies the spirit of rural practitioners.

At 78, he still sees up to 30 patients a day at the Yoakum Medical Clinic, the office where he has worked for half a century. He visits another 30 patients during daily rounds at the hospital and a local nursing home, treats children at the Bluebonnet Youth Ranch and continues to make house calls.

Love what you do -do it to the best of your abilities and the world will be a better place for you having walked and served here.

Thanks Dr. Watson for your dedicated loving service.

Yes Virginia the spirit of Christmas lives on every day through loving dedicated people.


Country Doctor of Year: 50 years of house calls

–  MONICA RHOR, AP Dec 29, 2008. as reported in YahooNews;_ylt=Assc


Great listeners are in demand

The art of listening

Listening to another is an acquired art.
Great listeners are in demand in our under sensitive over stimulated, pressured world. Simply hearing another person’s words is never enough. The other person who is talking to you leaves frustrated and feeling like this person does not care enough about me to hear me out and pay attention to me.

Developing calmness by practicing deep breathing exercises, martial arts, meditation is part of the process one may use to be anchored in that quiet space within your heart before the crisis with another happens. This skill should be cultivated in our children from conception.

Listening from your heart.
When someone is speaking to us, First Calm and Relax yourself before they begin to talk. The feeling I get when I’m in that calm some is one of complete focus on the other person. I listen from a caring space deep inside.

I can observe how the other person has reacted to the experiences being shared. I never assume I know what they are feeling or thinking. Asking open-ended questions about what they are discussing let’s me get their words and as I look into their eyes I begin to sense the pain, anger, frustration..

Being a good listener is like being a good detective sometimes. One must ferret out of what you are observing some of what they cannot tell you with their words. Remember even if a person believes they are telling you the absolute truth, Truth is colored by the person’s past experiences and influenced by their emotional state and overall physical, mental and social well-being.

Your skills as a listener can be influenced by:

Personnal background,
Practicing communication techniques
Practice. Listen, Practice, Listen

Learning to listen

Learning to Listen – Music to My Ears  Listening
Secrets to Healthy Client/Personal Relationships

There is an art and a science to listening to another human or animal. It doesn’t matter the age of the person whom you’re communicating, coaching or counseling with. Using this skill will improve your self-confidence, inspire your interpersonal relationships and assist clients and businesses to treat each other in a peaceful, loving, respectful manner. Every person wants to truly be listened to.

My first experience of being listened to changed my life. I never anticipated that an initial health interview could set the stage for my career of helping others. I felt, as I shared my challenges with this doctor, that I was listened to on all levels of my being and was heard for the first time in my life. Since the summer of 1979 I’ve been perfecting listening skills.

Learning to Listen

Secret 1. Practice the art of calmness and sensitiveness to all energies. Before working with another person meditate in the morning, and before a session do a few deep-breathing exercises to bring your energy peacefully within yourself. If you have seen someone else before this person, clear all thoughts of their problems or crises from your mind.

Secret 2. When the next person calls or comes through your door, greet the person either at the door with a firm handshake and make eye contact, or if this is a phone consultation always speak with a low, calm, confident voice.

Secret 3. Thank them for coming or calling and ask how you can be of assistance. Assess if this is a medical emergency.  If it is, then send them there immediately. Some people think they would like to avoid the medical bills by coming to you, but this is foolish both for the client and the practitioner. Assure them that after they see the doctor, you would like them to report the findings to you. Be straight forward, clear about your limits and to the point.

Secret 4. If this is not a medical emergency, ask them to tell you their story.  Listen with your heart focused, respectful and loving. Show them by your presence that no one is more important in this moment than this person. Take notes.

Secret 5. Let them talk, only asking questions for clarification when the conversation lags. Don’t interrupt a person’s train of emotional memories and thoughts. This causes them to lose some of their intensity and you lose time and details important to determining the best avenue of care

Secret 6. Recap what you understand the health challenges to be. Go over your notes and impressions before speaking with them. Clarify the situation until both of you are comfortable and clear about how to proceed before suggesting a protocol to the client.

Secret 7. Explain your services, how they may help and where they are comfortable in beginning. Lay out a plan, the costs and method of payment, and time of the next session or consultation. Part of listening is observing and sensing the comfort zone of the person. If the person cannot decide, let them go home and think about it and call you. Set a time for this call to keep the communication clear between you both. People caring enough to listen with their heart builds relationships.

Next article: Finding the comfort zone.

Remember, building trusting relationships is a hallmark of effective listening.