Restoring the Magic of Medicine: The Healers Café with Dr. Manon Bolliger, ND & guest Dr. Bob Baker
In this episode of The Healers Café, Dr. Manon chats with Dr. Bob Baker, a retired GI doctor, professional magician and ventriloquist.
Highlights from today’s episode include:
At 2:10 – Dr. Bob Baker’s inspiration
At 5:03 – The relationship between magic & medicine
At 6:30 – An audience is like a patient
At 7:35 – What is the goal of any performer (or doctor)?
At 8:05 – The doctor visit is a ritual
At 10:10 – The magic of personal connections
At 11:41 – Magic in Medicine and Technology in Medicine (how to prevent technology from coming between patient and doctor)
At 13:43 – Where healing begins
At 14:18 – The usefulness depends on the people who use it
Connect with Dr. Bob Baker at www.DrBobBaker.com.
About Dr. Manon Bolliger, ND: Dr. Manon is a Naturopathic Doctor, the Founder of Bowen College, an International Speaker with a TEDx talk in September 2020, and the author of the Amazon best-selling book “What Patient’s Don’t Say if Doctors Don’t Ask.” Watch for her next book, due out in 2020.
About The Healers Café: Dr. Manon’s show is the #1 show for medical practitioners and holistic healers to have heart to heart conversations about their day to day lives.
Dr Bob Baker: 05:03
I’ve always felt, you know, being both a magician and a doctor, I’ve always appreciated that there is an ancient relationship between magic and medicine. ….If you go way back, way, way back, thousands of years, probably the first healers were also magicians. And the first magicians were also healers. And I think that relationship has always been there. And that, that aspect of magic, which involves something which is almost intangible and makes us wonder, also carries over to medicine
About Dr. Manon Bolliger, ND:
Dr. Manon is a Naturopathic Doctor, the Founder of Bowen College, an International Speaker with an upcoming TEDx talk in May 2020, and the author of the Amazon best-selling book “What Patient’s Don’t Say if Doctors Don’t Ask.” Watch for her next book, due out in 2020.
About The Healers Café:
Dr. Manon’s show is the #1 show for medical practitioners and holistic healers to have heart to heart conversations about their day to day lives.
Follow us on social media! https://www.facebook.com/thehealerscafe
About Dr Bob Baker:
Despite all the outside pressures and despite all the stresses we are under, practicing medicine is the best job in the world. your journey as a healer : For me, being a doctor has always meant much more than making diagnoses and prescribing medications. It has always been about the person in the room with me. It is in the doctor-patient relationship that the magic of medicine begins.
Dr Bob Baker: 00:02 Welcome to the healers cafe. And today I have the pleasure to have an interview with dr Bob Baker and let me read a little bit of his up his bio.
Dr Bob Baker: 00:26 I was so surprised when I read it. It’s quite amazing. So, he’s the author of the performance of medicine techniques from the stage to optimize the patient experience and restore the joy of practicing medicine. He has a special interest in the doctor patient relationship and served as the physician master facilitator for the culture of care initiative of Northwell health. One of the largest healthcare systems in in the USA. Dr. Baker attended Princeton university and got his MD from the Columbia college of physicians and surgeons. He trained at Weill Cornell medical center and did his. GI fellowship at Beth Israel hospital in Boston. He is also a professional magician and ventriloquist. We’d definitely have to have you do that on the show and is the only Princeton Colombian Cornell, Harvard trained physician to have appeared on America’s got talent. So welcome. And my goodness, that is quite a path. So not a typical doctors biography. No,. It’s actually very exciting. So, let’s,go back. You know, and find out what changed and why you got interested in all of this and these forms of art and communication, but what was it that got you into medicine in the first place?
Dr Bob Baker: 02:06 Well, I always had an interest in science ever since I was young, but I think one of the major inspirations was my childhood pediatrician when I lived outside Chicago. Illinois. his name was dr Elmer Kadison and when I was young I got frequent ear infections and I distinctly remember one time, and I must’ve been six or seven years old when dr Kadison came to the house in the middle of the night with his overcoat thrown on over his pajamas just jumped out of bed and came on a, house cal in the middle of the night. And he was wonderful. He was soothing. He gave me what in the Midwest, we call it a sucker, which many other people call lollipops to soothe my throat. He gave me a some magical tetracycline in his bag, which is what they had in the 1950s and what he gave me.
Dr Bob Baker: 02:56 And it was so wonderful. I remember thinking at the time, I want to be like him. And that was really a driving force in my development. I always wanted to be a doctor other than when I was eight or nine years old, I thought I wanted to be a railroad engineer. Probably there was a fireman in there at someplace. But in most part, I always wanted to be a doctor. The only, the only side course I considered was being a professional magician. But that’s a, that’s an even harder life than being a doctor. So I decided to let magic be my passion and my hobby. Let medicine be my other passion in my work.
Dr Bob Baker: 03:31 Okay. So let’s that’s interesting. But so, so really it was a relationship.
Dr Bob Baker: 03:37 Yes. It was the feeling that I got from dr Kadison that he was more than just a guy who came and pulled a prescription out of his bag soothing. He was gentle and he was incredibly dedicated. So yes, it was a relationship. And add that to my love of science, my curiosity always in how things work. I think wondering to know how things worked is what brought me to magic. Like how do they do that? I need to go is not very far from how does the body work. I need to know.
Dr Bob Baker: 04:12 yeah. Because there’s still so many things we still don’t know, you know, running much more that we don’t know what we dont know.
Dr Bob Baker: 04:21 The more we have more, we realized that we have so much more to find out.
Dr Bob Baker: 04:24 And that’s, that’s the shocking part for, for me as well. You know, I sometimes I just have no idea what the potential for the body really is. You know, when you, when you orchestrate everything you can and the, and the patient has the right circumstances, the right support, the, you know, the right nutrition, the right mindset, the right medicine, you know, when it’s all together all those things together. But it all starts with the patient, doesn’t it? Absolutely. So tell me more about that. Okay. your experiences.
Dr Bob Baker: 05:03 I’ve always felt, you know, being both a magician and a doctor, I’ve always appreciated that there is an ancient relationship between magic and medicine. You know, everyone knows what the world’s oldest profession is. That’s sort of a joke, right? But if we ever stop to think what’s the world’s second oldest profession? And I think it’s probably magicians, slash healer or healer. Slash. Magician. If you go way back, way, way back, thousands of years, probably the first healers were also magicians. And the first magicians were also healers. And I think that relationship has always been there. And that, that aspect of magic, which involves something which is almost intangible and makes us wonder, also carries over to medicine. And I wonder about the human body all the time. The human body inspires me with tremendous wonder. And some of the things that I would see every single day in my practice struck me as almost magical.
Dr Bob Baker: 06:04 sure we understood the basic physiology. We understood a lot of what’s going on, but there were things that we didn’t understand. And that has always helped me maintain the wonder of medicine. Even in performing magic, sometimes things happen. The standard magic trick go, wow, I didn’t really expect that. That’s sort of magical the way that happened. So we don’t always have complete control of what’s going on there because we’re dealing with an audience and an audience in a sense as like a patient. And what we’re doing in both circumstances is a performance. And so that’s another way I feel those two things come together.
Dr Bob Baker: 06:43 Well, it’s very interesting. I had never thought of that, you know, but I, I can now that you’re saying that there is an element because in, in the methodology that, that I’ve created, I see in teaching it, you know, you kind of demonstrate it. So it’s a performance, you know, and there’s a, an audience and there’s a, an aspect that you don’t know. Sure. It’s to do with fascia. Sure. The body, I’ve seen it, I’ve done cases of frozen shoulder or , you know, sciatica or whatever. I know it’s based on something it works but but there is that that it’s like an implicit, there’s some,
Dr Bob Baker: 07:31 let me put it in words for you if I may. Yes.
Dr Bob Baker: 07:34 What is the, what is the goal of any performer? It’s to connect with the audience. That’s what make a performance. Whether it’s a speech or a magic performance or a singer or a dancer. Every performer is looking to connect with the audience and if we think of the patient as our audience, we are also looking to connect because the healing process is so much more than the prescription. I often, one of my partners said to me many, many years ago, the doctor visit is a kind of a ritual. It involves an authority figure wearing a certain costume, the white coat or whatever where it involves the telling of a tale, the laying on of hands, the actual touching of a person and the ritual is a vital part of the healing process. I am sure that you have had the experience and many of your viewers and listeners have had the experience as I have is as the patient is walking out of the room, they say, you know something, I feel better already.
Dr Bob Baker: 08:34 And it’s wonderful because they haven’t filled a prescription, they haven’t had the surgery, they haven’t done anything except participate in the ritual. Something very powerful indeed something magical there. And that’s where I see performance is coming in. You know there was also a great sociologist of the 20th century, the urban Goffman who wrote a book called the presentation of self in everyday life. He makes the point that we’re all performing all the time and we all all these performances are genuine. So for instance, when I am a father to my seven kids, I’m a little bit of a different person from how I am when I am taking care of a patient. And I’m also a different person from how I am when I’m on stage in a comedy club. But they’re all parts of me, they’re all me, they’re all authentic me, they’re just different aspects of me.
Dr Bob Baker: 09:25 And Goffman said that a performance, and I’m going to simplify his language because his language is very flowery, but what he said was a performance is anything that we do in a given circumstance to influence another person. So on stage what you do might be to influence them to laugh or be happy or be sad or when you come engaged or to or become terrified. If it’s a, if it’s a movie a performance with our kids might be they do something which internally we think is really funny, but we can’t laugh at it. So we played a stern and disapproving parent, right? A performance with a patient is giving ourselves to the patient, being open to them. It’s a two way communication. These are all different types of performances and I think that also underlies the concept of the magic of the personal connection. People. We have all gone to the theater and been deeply affected emotionally, even physically, even spiritually by something we have seen on stage, something we’ve been a part of on stage. That’s what every performer wants to do. And similarly, we’ve had that experience in the doctor’s office and being engaged and making that connection when it’s just two people sitting face to face talking, that’s where the healing begins in that moment. And that’s wonderful. And we’re starting to understand the science of it more. It’s a certain element of magic there as well.
Dr Manon : 10:54 Yeah, no, it’s it, it’s interesting that you say that too and I don’t know what your opinion is currently with, you know, all of the electronics and all the data pieces and everyone typing away rather than writing and listening. You know, I’m in the naturopathic profession and we do physical exams, but many of the patients that come in like in BC, in British Columbia where the primary health care physicians for them, but they say that their, their GPS don’t do physical exams.
Dr Bob Baker: 11:34 I can’t, I can’t understand that. How they can not do that or they do it through
Dr Manon : 11:37 For real. Cause I kept thinking it can’t be true. Here’s
Dr Bob Baker: 11:40 My thoughts on that because I’m actually working on a new speech called magic and medicine. I was thinking about technology. Even the most primitive technologies, Oh, is a two edge sword, go back 10,000yrs the first technology that humans learn to control is probably fire. Now fire can be very helpful. It can keep the animals away at night, it can cook the food but can also burn the forest down where you’re living. Interestingly enough, technology is often been thought to cause problems. When the stethoscope was first invented, there are people who are concerned that it would take the doctor away from the patient. This instead of putting the ear right on the chest, there was suddenly something between the doctor and the patient, which is inhibiting that relationship turned out not to be true, but that, was expressed at the time.
Dr Bob Baker: 12:27 And going back to what you said before, I’m absolutely certain that the technology that we have today is wonderful in many ways, but it absolutely comes between us and one of the sections in my book, the performance of medicine that I talk about is how to deal with the computer, how to keep that piece of machinery, which can be so incredibly valuable from coming between you and the patient. And what concerns me in trends that we’re seeing today is towards telemedicine. Now I understand that telemedicine can be wonderful if you are living in a rural area and there no doctor within 20 miles and you need to see someone, it’s a great thing. It brings the doctor virtually into your home. I can sort of see it if you live in an area which has as a plentiful supply of physicians, but you can’t make it in that day.
Dr Bob Baker: 13:15 So maybe you can do something. What would it takes away is the human contact and as medicine and all branches of medicine, yours and mine becomes more and more technologically involved. Whether it’s therapies which are now geared towards some genetic analysis of your DNA that this will work for you, but that won’t because you have this gene here and that ….over there as all it becomes more and more technical. What I fear is that we will lose the basis of medicine, which to say again, is that person to person contact. That’s where the healing begins and I think it’s crucial, essential that we never let this marvelous tool come between us. And take an example of another marvelous tool. Do you remember how social media was first said it’s going to bring the world together. That’s what Mark Zuckerberg said about Facebook. I’m going to bring the world together.
Dr Bob Baker: 14:09 How’s it worked out that way? Has it? Technology is very much of a two edge sword and it’s, and the usefulness of it depends entirely on the people who use it and how they use it. And it is us, it is us to us up to us as doctors. And physicians and healers and naturopaths, chiropractors, all of us to keep that human element in there. I mean, can you imagine, for instance, a chiropractor seeing a patient without touching it is impossible. Can’t be done, right? I mean, they have to manipulate. You can imagine the Bowen method being done without touching cant be done. That will never be, that will never be done by telemedicine. It can’t be, you need that human interaction, that human touch. So that’s why I say I welcome the technology, but let’s not let us let it come between the patients and us.
Dr Manon : 15:01 And I think it’s, it’s it’s also the risk of all these, you know, these tests as opposed to simplifying things. Sometimes like using a stethoscope, you know, you send people for an ECG and then you do this and then you do that. And basically they’re in all of this technology, but you haven’t really heard the problem. You haven’t heard whats going on.
Dr Bob Baker: 15:27 Talk to the patient or you walk. I see doctors come in, they’re live, they’re leafing through the lab data before they say anything to the patient, first find out about the patient. His or her life, what’s going on, what they’re experiencing. If you, if you don’t get to that, you, you don’t learn anything about the patient. I don’t mean this to be a boastful thing, but I’ll tell you that in my career as a gastroenterologist, I had many people come to me who had seen one GI doctor after another one GI doctor after another. They weren’t getting better and I listened to them for a little while. I sit and then I’d say, well, what’s going on in your life? What’s happening outside this office? And what comes out is stress or death in the family or what they’re eating or their lack of exercise there may and other things. Once you address those, golly, gee, the GI symptoms get better. How about that? But we can’t, we can’t forget that it’s a human being there who is affected by the environment and the diet and their exercise and how much sleep they get and what’s going on in their personal lives and what’s going on in their inner life. All those things affect our health. we have to remember that.
Dr Bob Baker: 16:33 Yeah. And it’s interesting cause it’s the GI specialists that were really, from my understanding, the first to realize that there is a a mental, emotional component,to physical ailments.
Dr Bob Baker: 16:47 I’ve said in my speeches to gastroenterologists that more than in any other branch of internal medicine, cardiology and endocrinology and rheumatology, the mind body connection and, and the patient’s life affects the digestive track more than more than say it affects the heart or the glands or whatever. It’s, you know, as I’m sure you know, the digestive track has its own so-called enteric nervous system, which is as complicated down here as the brain is up there and the entire nervous system can operate independently of the brain. So it’s, the gut has its own brain and, the two brains as it work, interact all the time. I mean there are, there are neurochemicals up here which normally are found down here and vice versa. So there’s tremendous interaction there, which we gastroenterologists, I think we’re among the first to recognize that. So, yeah. Yes.
Dr Manon : 17:44 And I remember when I was studying homeopathic medicine that some, the doctors who contributed to the, to the research of that were, were GI specialists and they were saying, there is definitely a connection here, you know, and now that we understand neuro-transmitters and the importance of the health of the gut, you know, it’s, it’s all like the proof is coming. But the patients always knew it on some level .
Dr Bob Baker: 18:12 On some level our job was to bring that out in.
Dr Manon : 18:15 Excellent. Well listen, that’s an interesting, yeah, I wrote, I won’t take long telling you this, but I wrote a book called what patients don’t say if doctors don’t ask. And those five years ago the mindful doctor patient relationship and I said, you know, the problem I’m seeing is we’re not spending, so I was, I was doing a criticism on the soap formula, which P instead of plan is a prescription and you know, which really it should be a plan. And what is the plan of action and S is, is pretty well lost. It’s like tolerance of, okay, sure, sure. This is what’s happening. Okay. Now, what’s, what’s really objectively happening. And now let’s look at all of the objective findings, which where all the technology comes in and all the tests comes in. And I’m not saying they’re useless or not to do them, of course not.
Dr Manon : 19:07 But it’s like we need to take time to find out what’s really happening. Because contextualizing that is, I mean, the body is, is dying, literally. That’s a bad word. But we’re like, we’re programmed to heal, right? We want to heal. That’s right. We are programmed to heal. That’s exactly right. And so if, if a little bit more time was spent to connect with the patient, I think there’ll be much better results and a lot less, no- cebo effect. You know, when you, and you come in and you’re told doom and gloom and the tests were, you know, even the names of the test, right? Oh, it’s a positive result. Which means it’s negative for you. I mean, hello,
Dr Bob Baker: 19:54 You shouldn’t in my office I say, Oh yeah, the results are negative. Oh no, doctor, no, no, no, no. That’s good. That’s good.
Dr Manon : 20:01 You would think you could just switch that around positive for you, but again, that really shows, you know, the, the mindset that needs to change. Right. And you know, yeah, no. Interesting. Let me think of what else I would love to know. Well, I’m curious ventriloquist how on earth come up.
Dr Bob Baker: 20:32 I was a ventriloquist before I was a doctor. I learned when I was probably nine or 10 years old, but by seeing a ventriloquist on TV in Chicago where I lived at the time and I’ve, I just gravitated into it and I actually do ventriloquism and all my talks to doctors and nurses and PAs and and other people cause it’s fun and it’s enjoyable. But you know, people say your a ventriloquest . Weird. You have a split personality. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. None of that’s true. truly ventriloquisum is simply an actor playing two parts simultaneously. That’s all it is. You’re creating two different characters interacting with each other when you’re both of the characters. What makes it fun and difficult is maybe the character is saying something in one tone of voice, but you have to show it an entirely different reaction on your face.
Dr Bob Baker: 21:25 So if one of my characters is yelling at me, I have to be looking like this. While the words that I’m saying secretly or that I’m saying are actually yelling at me. So what’s wonderful about ventriloquism also is I like magic. I call it illusion without deception. Magic. The basis of magic performance, magic that is deception. You know I’m doing something secretly or something you’re not aware of. There’s something more going on than you’re aware of, or I’m not doing something that you think I am, whatever it may be. That’s deception. Everybody accepts that. When you go to a magic show, you know that the woman isn’t really being sewn in half. There’s some level of desception and trick was is illusion. Without deception, it’s an illusion. If the ventriloquist does a good job, the character becomes real to the audience, and yet they know what’s going on.
Dr Bob Baker: 22:20 They know that it’s not real. They know it’s a puppet. And yet they left with the puppet says they look at the puppet when the puppet is speaking. They start to act as what, like we talk about in performing acting as if I act as if the puppet is real. The puppet acts as if he or she is real. And then the audience acts as if the puppet is real and that’s what makes it fun. And yeah, so I love it. It’s, it’s a very unique form of entertainment. It’s a very ancient form of entertainment and it’s just so much fun to do.
Dr Manon : 22:54 . So do you use this then for doctor patient like education or
Dr Bob Baker: 22:59 Never? I never did it in the office. The only time I ever did in the office is that I had a little sock hand puppet. If a patient came in with a kid, you have to reward the kid for having sat through mommy or daddy’s doctor’s appointment. I do a little magic for them or I do some ventriloquisum , but I never used it with patients. It was, it was too distracting.
Dr Manon : 23:19 Okay. Okay. You wouldn’t mind just pretending I’m a kid for a second.
Dr Bob Baker: 23:24 And while I don’t have any puppets, I was not pre-warned but if you’ll allow me to do……
Dr Bob Baker: 23:31 Talking to public voice. Okay, well I could tell you about mrs Lucille Goldman. Those are very cranky old lady who talks like this. And as you can see Carter, that is just learning to talk without moving a little something that, that’s an example. But it doesn’t mean anything without the puppet being there. If you saw her talking then it would become a character. So, so people think, Oh the art of ventriloquism is talking without moving your lips. No, the art of ventriloquism is creating another character right next to you.
Dr Manon : 24:02 Ah, it’s interesting cause I was thinking too, you know when patients have to make decisions on hard decisions sometimes on you know, treatment choices or disconnecting from life support or all of these things, you know, that that at one point or another people have to decide, I just had this idea but having puppets go through this.
Dr Bob Baker: 24:28 Well, maybe, but I’ll tell you, I have downstairs a framed copy of a cartoon from the new Yorker and it shows a patient lying in bed in the hospital and a doctor is sitting in a chair next to the bed and on the doctor’s knee is a ventriloquist puppet that looks like a doctor. And the caption under the cartoon is, I’m afraid mr Bickel’s has some bad news for you. And so yeah, I, I just don’t think there’s a role for that. It’s, you know, I think it’s just too serious. You know, those circumstances are too serious to have the patient concentrate, at least for me, because for me, the having the puppet there is just fun and I, I just never brought that into the office. My patients knew that I did it. But I just never could see bringing it into that circumstance. Now maybe I should have, you know, made a bolder choice, tried new things and try it, but I never did. I just felt it had no place.
Dr Bob Baker: 25:28 Well, I was thinking it is dr cousins, right? Who wears the clown outfit and the nose .
Dr Bob Baker: 25:32 Well the patch Adams I have, you know what, I understand that patch Adams that Robin Williams made him out to be better and nicer than he perhaps really was. But I don’t know enough to comment, but that’s just what I sort of heard from people who knew him.
Dr Manon : 25:51 because I know in my, in my clinic I’m dealing with pain because there’s people that come in a lot of pain and pain is a somewhat serious matter. You know, if you’re in pain, your life changes. Right. And yeah I use a lot of of laughter. I mean there’s has to be a level of connection for laughter to be safe and fun, you know. But I remember my secretary who’s been with me for for years and she goes, Oh my gosh, it’s so much fun. I would never have thought that a, pain clinic would have so much laughter. Then even now she works in a funeral home. So there,s less laughter there. I’m guessing though, she’s kept the spirit of it, you know? And actually uses laughter.
Dr Bob Baker: 26:41 Laughter. Laughter is very, and I think, I think laughter is a very important tool. The laughter that I always used in the off office. There was laughter at myself. I think humor is very important. But I even talk about this in my book that it can never be at the expense of the people.
Dr Bob Baker: 26:41
Dr Bob Baker: 26:41
Dr Bob Baker: 27:03 Well I can laugh at the world. We can laugh at me, but we’re not coming up.
Dr Manon : 27:06 No, we’re laughing sometimes at the insanity of the situation, but no, not of the person. because that’s not, that’s not funny actually. Now what about hugging? I know these are odd questions but we just got told that
Dr Bob Baker: 27:22 We hugged my patients at the end of visits. Very common. I think it’s very important to touch men and women both. Or if I haven’t seen them for a long time and they put their hand on, I said that’s not good enough. You know, hugging is very important. It conveys a warmth. That perhaps is second only to smiles..
Dr Manon : 27:45 Mmm. Cause for me it seems instinctual and some of them will, oops. Yeah. Some of my patients will say, you know, is it okay if I ask you for a hug? You know, and it’s like, of course, you know, but we’ve just we’ve just been told that I’m not allowed more hugging.
Dr Bob Baker: 28:03 Well I would, I would never hug without asking permission. Oh. You have to say, can I give you a hug or, you know? Yeah. Just, and I’ve never had anyone say no, but I always ask for permission.
Dr Manon : 28:17 Yeah. But it’s interesting, you know, how a lot of the, the connection pieces or feel like we, we really have to make a concerted effort to be conscious to keep that, you know, alive.
Dr Bob Baker: 28:37 Well, that’s part of the performance aspect of medicine is remembering all the tools at your disposal. Tools like smiles and eye contact and hugs and body language. Those are all part of our toolbox and we should use them as much as we use our medications in our tests. I mean, they say, you know, medicine is an art and a science. Right? But the, the art piece, which I believe is that is that flow, that connection is really not studied very deeply.
Dr Bob Baker: 29:11 Interestingly enough, in medical schools, empathy now is being taught, you know, empathy is something that you learn. You can learn the technique of empathy. When I was in school, it was never mentioned. Now it’s being taught, which I think is, is terrific. And we’re even understanding the neuroscience of empathy. There’s a doctor at mass general hospital and Helen Reese who studies the neuroscience of empathy and her work is very, very interesting. And from that, she’s developed ways to teach people to be impactful because empathy is, is really underlying a lot of what we’ve been talking about.
Dr Manon : 29:42 Yeah. So you are in practice?
Dr Bob Baker: 29:43 , I’m still in practice at this stage or three years ago. Oh, okay. Okay. And I’m speaker, author, ventriloquist dad and husband. Seven kids. Yes. and so what, what what decided you to, to move on from……..
Dr Bob Baker: 30:09 Three things happen simultaneously? Number one, I turn 65, number two of my contract with my employer was up. It would have to be renewed for five years if I wanted to continue. And number three, there were other things I wanted to do and I did not want to be 72 years old and go, gee, I wonder if I could have, and a very dear friend of mine said something in her one woman show that really struck me when i heard it. She said, all we have is the time between now and death. And that made me think, yeah, I want to do these other things and I haven’t looked back. And it’s been great.
Dr Manon : 30:47 Wonderful. Yeah. And it’s interesting cause it’s it’s different and it’s, it’s similar from the way you’ve experienced it. You know, I guess a little less stress from the, the responsibility of patient care.
Dr Bob Baker: 31:03 Right. And a little more stress. Not having my life completely regulated by every 15 minutes, I have a new task to perform. And I could, I could walk in at the beginning of the day, look at my schedule, know exactly what my day was going to be like, including the personalities of the people I’d be dealing with. Now I’m just freelancing, which is,
Dr Manon : 31:22 Well, anyway, good for you. I think it’s great. You know,be cause I feel like as long as we keep learning, I mean to me learning new things feeds me, you know, so that’s why I was saying every day wonder for me, like that’s why like I was saying this TEDx talk, which I’m probably lost my voice, I have a form of larengitis it’s it’s pushing me to uncomfortable levels of, yes, that’s good. It’s good. Good.
Dr Bob Baker: 31:52 As we say at our own public speaking, learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Dr Manon : 31:56 Exactly. Yeah. And that’s really my my philosophy of life anyways. So, you know, and I think sometimes our illnesses and what we manifest are kind of signs or symbols of, you know, well this is, you know, pay attention to this. This is what your body’s actually telling you, you know. So Bob, with all your years of practice, is there something that you feel that has really touched you or that you’ve really learned about being in practice? Yes.
Dr Bob Baker: 32:30 When I retired, many patients said very nice things to me about things that I had done that I didn’t even remember doing. One man said, you know, I first started coming to you after you saved my mother’s life. He’d been my patient for 25 years. I have no real recollection of having saved his mother’s life. And what I realized is from the people who said all these things to me is that we have unbelievable effects on people’s lives. It will become very important parts of people’s lives. And even though in our profession, and we are now facing all sorts of stresses regarding reimbursements and insurance and pharmacy benefit managers and licensing and all that stuff, when it’s all said and done, there will be thousands and thousands of people whose lives are better because they met us. What more could you ask for in life?
Dr Manon : 33:21 Yeah, no, very true. It is true. It’s again, the human perspective, which is really what you, what you bring to your patients and to your practice. Absolutely. So anyway, thank you very much for taking.
Dr Bob Baker: 33:35 Thank you for having me and I hope it’s useful to you and your, and your, your, your viewers and clients
Dr Bob Baker: 33:41 I’m really looking to inspire people on, you know, on this path. Thanks for having me, manon. I really appreciate it. It was great. [