Calling Doctor Howard – Part 1

crazydoctorGodless Monkey will be away on a photo expedition of Mexico, Central America and Columbia from March 19th to April 20th. I’m running some of my old stories in my absence for your enjoyment.

Dr. Frankle laid down the letter he had just received and thought it over for a couple of minutes. Picking it up again he reread the part that intrigued him the most.

“…Therefore, should you agree to our request, we would like you to interview Marvin outside of the hospital environment, as we feel that would be the best way to assess him properly.”

The Howard family wanted an independent assessment of their son, who was receiving resident care for Dissociative Personality Disorder. They felt he was improving, the hospital said no. He pursed his lips and gazed out the window a moment and came to a decision. He would take the assignment. It was an unusual request, but he had been feeling like his work was routine these days, and this might just be the sort of thing that would reinvigorate him.

With a light case load for the time being, this would be easy, and the family was offering a substantial fee for taking up half a day of his time. He would have to do a phone interview with them to ascertain why they suspected Marvin’s condition might be other than what was reported, and to get some background on Marvin, but that wouldn’t be a problem. He called his receptionist in and told her to make arrangements for him to speak to the family and then got back to the report he was writing before he read the letter.

Twenty minutes later she came in and told him the family had requested a face-to-face, and would he like to schedule for tomorrow morning. He checked his calendar and told her to arrange it for ten-fifteen. She confirmed it a few minutes later and he got ready for his next appointment.

The following morning Mr. Howard and his wife, Ellen seated themselves in his office and after some perfunctory formalities they outlined their case for the suspicions they had about Marvin’s treatment. They wanted whatever was best for Marvin, but on the last several visits he had seemed to be improving. Dr. Frankle asked for some background on Marvin’s condition. The Howards had seen no sign of symptoms in the last year, despite being assured that he was displaying when they weren’t around. They had come to the conclusion that an outside assessment was in order, and they had already advised the hospital of their desire to have this done.

Dr. Frankle nodded and told them not to worry, that he had contacts at the hospital and that he would make arrangements to take Marvin out of the hospital for a few hours for an assessment. They seemed relieved that it could be done quickly and asked him to advise them when the arrangements had been made.

Dr. Frankle showed them to the door, shook hands and went back to his office to call the hospital. He made the arrangements for two days hence and had a copy of Marvin’s file couriered to his office. He decided Thursday was going to be an interesting day.

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