Forever Under Construction

A Real Doctor

Posted in Iranians by homeyra on February 12, 2008

Farhad, a very dear and esteemed friend, is a doctor. Although he is a well known specialist with a thriving private practice, he does pro-bono work in a public clinic in a poor neighborhood of Tehran.

One day a patient arrived and right away he recited a list of drugs and asked Farhad to write the prescription. This isn’t so unusual over here: many people know better than the doctor what medicines they need.

Farhad asked about his problem. The patient told him that he wasn’t feeling well, that he was tired and described a few symptoms. While going through the routine examinations he talked further about his life: he had four or five children, he was a sopoor – a muni street sweeper – he had difficulty in making ends meet. He was worn out by the daily struggle to survive.

Farhad realized that he couldn’t cure his real problem. He told him that his physical condition was good and he didn’t need to spend the little money he had on unnecessary drugs. Finally, moved by the misery he witnessed, Farhad ended up paying the man enough to get a good meal, take a day off and rest.

The next day Farhad ran into the same patient coming out of the clinic. He asked him how he was feeling and what he was doing there. The patient replied, “God bless you, with the money you gave me I found a real doctor: he wrote me a prescription so I could get the medicine I wanted.”


9 Responses

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  1. Ann El Khoury said, on February 12, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    Oh! That’s a terrible and great story all at once. I can only imagine how Farhad felt.

  2. homeyra said, on February 12, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    Fortunately Farhad has a great sens of humor. I should borrow more of his stories in the future. I asked him many times to write them down, but he is working a lot and spending the little time left to him with his son.

  3. 99 said, on February 12, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    Girls! Farhad is a buddha! That’s an enlightenment story. That could have, maybe did, come straight from the mouth of the great Nasrudin! That is elegant commentary on the human condition.

    Marry Farhad.

  4. عمار - aMmAr said, on February 13, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Heh! interesting tale Homeyra 🙂 will be looking forward for more these.

  5. Sophia said, on February 13, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    One good person cannot hide the sins of an army of charlatans. But you know why we still have to make good despite all this ? Because the act of making good is not only utilitarian, it is morally relevant in itself, and it perpetuates and keeps alive the idea of Good in a society.

  6. Kilroy said, on February 14, 2008 at 4:30 am

    The customer may not always be right, but they will always be the customer.

    Farhad’s solution might be considered noble, but like everything ‘noble’ it useless and silly for those of us living in the real world.

    Why are we always so much wiser than the person living his own life. Where do we get off? Why is our judgment so much better than everyone else’s when it comes to how they should live?

    Farhad’s no a buddha. Stop beating me with self righteous ideas about buddha. Give me the amphetamines so I can work without falling asleep – so I can feed my family. If you want to run someone’s life, try running your own.

  7. 99 said, on February 14, 2008 at 5:59 am

    There isn’t a pill for it, Kilroy.

  8. Pedestrian said, on February 27, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    I love, love, love your story!

  9. homeyra said, on February 27, 2008 at 7:06 pm


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