I found out only recently that NHS dentists get paid by the number of patients they see, which is why my last dentist conducted every session the same way. He would tap the teeth and then say ‘You’re doing great, mate. Off you go. See you in six months.’ He obviously wanted quantity, and even admitted as much on one occasion.
Medeea is different. She takes the time to explain and advise and ask whether you’re comfortable. She even tells you to ask the receptionist to make a longer appointment next time because she wants to be sure of doing a good job. One of those receptionists told me recently that she’s far more interested in the needs and comfort of her patients than she is in making money.
And that’s why when I saw her today I wanted to take her arm, squeeze it gently and say ‘Thank you for being here,’ and there are very, very few people to whom I would say that. I couldn’t, unfortunately, because I was in the car at the time, but it’s the thought that counts.
(The next time I go, I must ask her why she always comes to work in her pyjamas. Maybe I could take her an alarm clock as a gift.)