The MD's ID

Not your grandfather's cell phone, but it should have been. Today nostalgia has befallen me, so I'm thinking thoughts of days long gone, when doctors had cell phones but no one else did, except me. I know it seems improbable now; they're so ubiquitous, and so cheap. I mean cell phones, not doctors.

Anyway, in those days people with phones were always mistaken for physicians. Once, while visiting a traveling King Tut museum exhibition with my bricklike cell phone in tow, I was told that high-frequency devicescell phones were in that category thenweren't allowed, and I would need to leave the thing at the security desk. This rule, added the security officer, did not apply to doctors. But she peered at me in a manner that suggested I was not, so I left the phone with her.

Before cell phones, physicians were forced to rely on pagers for identification. These weren't the tiny numeric pagers we've come to associate with middle-school students. Doctors carried voice pagers, which emitted the sound of actual human voiceshospital switchboard operators, generallyinforming everyone within earshot of Dr. Blue's whereabouts.

These days, the magic of technology offers more effective ways of telling us who's a doctor, and who isn't. Digital prescription pads may be passé, but laser-guided golf balls leave little doubt that one is in the presence of a modern physician.



  1. This is an official statement of zinger appreciation. :-)

  2. [Elvis voice on]

    Thank you. Thank you very much.

    [Elvis voice off]