Interview with Quentin Young

You told me a very, crap, humorous story about working for a while, and can you just repeat that?


Yeah, I would like to do that. The, it was very interesting, I, by every standard, was a senior citizen, even though I was much younger than I am now, having been in practice perhaps some 20 years at that point. And I guess by presentation and, and way of conducting myself professionally, I was very much a conservative. I wore a three-piece suit without, I hope, being particularly haughty. It just felt that was the way I'd like to do it. Meanwhile, most of the doctors and other people there were part of the culture of the movement which included a clothing coat which was quit unusual. Blue jeans was already formal dress and sandals and barefoot were OK. And ties were a sign of selling out. Shirts while they could be clean, could never be pressed, et cetera. And they were very dedicated young people, and I'll testify they were very skilled at what they did. They liked this idea of organic unity with the patients, who dressed better than they did, let the record show for all their poverty, were neater and, and, more concerned about their presentation. And when I say, they weren't concerned, they were concerned. The idea of looking unruly was their way of expressing themselves. After about two weeks in the clinic, the Panther who was in charge of running it, called all the doctors into what was a very comfortable kind of a break area, where you could get coffee and sit around and chat in between patients at appropriate intervals. And it was different. And he said, he wanted to tell us something, we thought this was going to be very important, a change in policy, what have you. He says, he says, "I got a problem, we have a lot of patients come here who see doctors, they see them in the clinics, they see them in their doctor's office on occasion, and the doctors present themselves with coats, stethoscopes and even ties. And you're confusing the patients." He said, "What we've done is, is, is, is get a large variety of, assortment of doctor's jackets," and he pointed to a rack that had easily 50 of all sizes and even colors. "Pick the one you like, but we'll expect you to wear a jacket here so the patients will understand that by the outward symbols you are indeed a doctor in addition to your great desire to serve the people"--that was a Panther slogan. He was being not sarcastic, but ironic. And, it worked. I mean, a little grumbling about bourgeois and selling out, but they got the point. And while it's a small point, it did indicate if you're going to serve the people don't give them added burdens of worrying about whether you're a real doctor because you don't dress like any doctor they ever saw. That, put simply, it's an indulgence on your part to, to demand that they accept you as you try and mimic what you think they're style is.