JWG (jwg) wrote,

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Annual visit to the eye doctor

I have been going to Dr. Ernst Meyer for many years for an annual checkup. He is almost retired, but he still sees some patients. He and his wife are quite formal and somewhat old fashioned so they always address me as Mr Gintell. My prescription has changed (less astigmatism / less near sightedness) and as usual he cautioned me that I might not like the new glasses and I should consider whether I wanted to spend the money.

In addition to being an Opthalmologist, he is a Unix hacker and wrote his own database manager to keep track of patient records. He logs into his system with a monochrome text-only interface. I asked him what else he was doing in semi retirement and he said he was writing some stock price analysis software with some pattern recognition ideas. He said he was a bit over his head but it was fun. He still programs in C, says he likes to use arrays and not structures and since his compiler is very structures oriented it gives him some trouble.

He also is doing his own house renovation - slowly but surely - currently he is working on new floors and running new airconditioning lines. Not bad for a 73 year old man. He said the equipment to recharge the air conditioners was too expensive and so he was getting someone in to do that. I asked him if he was going to retire and said if the malpractice insurance got too expensive and state regulations relative to retraining got too complex he might do so, but he planned on continuing as long as his and his wife's health permitted. In addition to office exams, I think he still does surgery since he talked about hospital requirements about insurance and retraining conflicted with the state's requirements (meaning higher or lower limits).

When I was leaving, his wife said "do you want to pay now or should I give you an envelope?" I said "an envelope since I had no checks with me". She said "well, let's see if I have any". She found one and stamped their address on it and handed it to me. I asked how much was it and she said "how much did you pay last time?" I said I don't know. She said "oh well, if I asked Dr Meyer he would probably say $40 so that is what you should pay".

I think he is a good eye doctor and it is always amusing to go to his office.

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