A to Z Challenge: Leonard the Doctor

Character sketches that are fictional but based on real characters, like us.

Finally free of military obligations, Leonard was more than excited to set up his own private ENT practice. He was now quite experienced at peering down people’s ears, noses and throats and could hardly wait to start making some real money. There had always been something about being a short person in the military that had left him feeling a little insecure. He was ready to be a boss.

His new clinic on the edge of the small, but growing, city was his own design and was going to serve him well for many years. A full hall of exam rooms, for when he took on associates, a med room with an autoclave, the small surgery suite, and the offices – it was all but finished with the carpet going in the waiting room this week.

He’d put an ad in the paper for a receptionist/nurse/bookkeeper and figured he would end up training someone to do it all, for the time being. Things would be slow at first.

His biggest irritation was his wife, who kept popping in unannounced to give him decorating advice, or request help with the kids. She was ditsy, that was the best word he could think of to describe her. He would much prefer that she stay home and mind her own business.

By the next week he had interviewed several people for his front office, and one was a nurse, just out of school. She wouldn’t know much, but that way he could “fashion” her to suit his practice and not have to re-program a bunch of bad habits. He probably wouldn’t need to pay her a lot either. He liked the idea of starting out with everything new.

The first week the doors opened there were two patients. One was a bad nosebleed and he was so glad he had properly prepared his nurse. “When you see a nosebleed getting out of the car, meet them at the door and get them off the carpet as quickly as you can. No sitting in the waiting room.” Not that they would have had to wait…

During the slow days between the two patients there was a lot of time to train his nurse on the patient filing system he had decided to use. She was going to have to learn his dictation machine as well, and type out patient reports. She was fairly quick at the office tasks which pleased him. He kind of liked standing behind her when she worked at the desk, watching to make sure she was getting the billing system right. He found himself wondering what it would be like to touch her hair.

The weeks wore on, and the practice was growing, but slowly. He was starting to do surgery at the local hospital and had trained “his girl” to make up the surgery packs and autoclave them. At some point he was going to start taking her to surgery to assist but he’d have to pay her more then, so not yet. There were still some slow times at the office too, and he was having fun making her nervous.

Their teaching sessions were getting kind of exciting to him. She reminded him of some of the new army recruits he’d been acquainted with. He liked standing close while explaining how to position the microscope, or use an ear speculum. She would find a reason to move away, but he could follow. It was almost ridiculous how he’d slowly chase her around the exam table. Didn’t she get it?

He wasn’t expecting it at all the day she gave notice that she was leaving. It was after the last patient had gone and the locking of the doors. She was finishing up the roster at the desk when he finally got the nerve to stroke her hair. She calmly turned around and said “I’m giving you one month to find my replacement. During that time, if you ever touch me again or make me feel uncomfortable, I’m walking out the door at that moment. And, by the way, your wife will hear about it too.”

He blushed, and wished he could have thought of something to say. How dare she embarrass him like that! Now, she was making him feel uncomfortable. And so awkward.

The next month went way too slowly for both of them. She was glad to be done and made sure he gave her a glowing recommendation. He ended up hiring three people to replace her. None of them were young, cute, or chaseable.

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