Wednesday, September 25, 2013

House Call - São Paulo

House calls. Chic doctors, kids wearing white. Total fiction...or is it?

I am not a fan of doctor visits (shhh, keep it on the hush-hush: my father in law is a pediatrician, and my stepson is in medical school). I am known to put off check-ups for years at a time. I've gotten a bit better over time, but pretty much I will only go if I am near death. This does not hold true for me taking my kids, by the way. While I am neither a helicopter mom nor totally relaxed, I will go see their neighborhood pediatrician with them if things look not so good. I have very healthy kids--last time they saw the pediatrician was in November 2012. Dr. Leonardo, a giant bear of an Argentinian with accented Portuguese, is my kids' favorite doctor.  Oh all right, one likes his plastic surgeon Dr. Rodrigo even better (my kid has an issue with needing stitches on his head).

Then, through a friend in the newcomers club here, I was introduced to Dr. Daniel Habib. And he has become my absolute favorite thing about Brazil. Better than warm beaches, better than creme de papaya, and most days, I would even trade my caipirinha for a visit. Why? Dr. Habib makes house calls. Yes, he does. He even comes in his white doctor coat with his button down shirt and doctor bag. It makes me practically tear up at the site of him. Always well-dressed, always buttoned-up.  

I called him on Sunday night with some stomach pains (oh, fine, I'll admit I'd had them for five days but could not be bothered to do anything about them). He was here at 11 am the next morning. He did a few tests then gave me a diagnosis and the prescription. Then Dr. H was off again to rescue another gringa (well, they're not all gringas but he does a good business with us). He speaks English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. He has a lovely accent and reminds me of a Roger Moore James Bond. No, I do not have a crush on him, except in a professional way. 
  He writes prescriptions in legible writing with a FOUNTAIN PEN! Ack, it's like a movie. And he'll write a second copy for you in English so you don't have to figure out if a "comp" is comprehensive, compromido (pill) or free.  He will also see anyone in the household for the same fee. Okay, he said no to checking Caju my senior lab over for lumps...

And then you write him a check (he is more than $75US cheaper than the kids' Argentine) and he is off. Insurance covers most to all of his charge (we just changed companies so I'm not entirely sure).  In a day I am sure I will get a text message from him to see if I am all better. 

I love him. Platonically. And forever.

Best thing in Brazil. Hands down.

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