Sunday, July 16, 2006

Guymon, Oklahoma Part II

am writing this entry from Guymon. The clinic was going to need coverage and so I flew in. Our world has truly shrunk and we need to think global if we are to continue to progress. I was alerted to a web page maintained by the local radio station. There were some comments directed at me that accused me of essentially abandoning our practice and transferring all our assets back to the Philippines! There was a racial innuendo in one of the posts. Now I want you all to know that I am a big boy and having lived in the US for 17 years has made me accustomed to these occasional uncharitable and baseless claims.

My wife and I have spent more than a combined 20 years in Guymon serving the sick particularly those belonging to minority groups. A lot of our patients identify with us and it does not hurt that we speak Spanish as well. We have been the first and only subspecialists in internal medicine to practice in this town. We have never received any income guarantee, salary, office space, other emoluments from the local hospital. For 10 years, I would be at the clinic at 6:45 am and leave it 12 hours later. I have worked every Saturday and my home telephone number has always been listed in the phone book.

When we thought that our children would benefit from a Christian education, we helped establish a Montessori. For 9 years, I was actively involved with an institution for the mentally disabled. I was in the parish council of the local catholic church for many years. The clinic employs a full time staff of 16. The medical clinic that we built in 2000 and the pharmacy that we added in 2005 remain one of the best looking buildings in town. We have invested in our community, paid our taxes and contributed to it in as many ways that we could. I wonder why these accomplishments still allow others to feel that we aren't "American" enough.

Why I did not become a US citizen with all it's benefits was the subject of a previous post but even this point was interpreted as a disloyal and ungrateful act.

I was even put to task and accused of abandoning our practice by foisting 2 physicians to help cover our patients. There was no mention of the fact that one is a board-certified US medical graduate internist and the other recently completed residency training in family practice. We are not about to squander the practice we painstakingly built all these 10 years.

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