The Family Doctor, A Glance Back In Time

As a pseudo history buff, I enjoyed watching this Ted-Ed snippet on a day in the life of an ancient Egyptian family doctor ( It reveals how far medicine, medical house calls, and healthcare coordination have developed over the years. Primary care, specialty care, mobile diagnostics – including x-ray and ultrasounds are all now readily available for the at home patient. Electronic Medical Records (EMR) are maintained digitally to maintain a wide range of data, including medication records, laboratory test results, radiology images, vital signs, and personal medical history.

While the thought of an incantation would be nice to heal a venomous bite, simply immobilizing an arm to properly heal a bone break with multiple fragments or planting seeds in the ground as a means of pregnancy test and gender reveal, it is very comforting to know that modern medicine has evolved in how it tests and treats the modern patient.

What hasn’t changed over the years is the caring nature of the local small-town family doctor. What comes to mind for me is the reminiscent scene of a Norman Rockwellesque physician spending that extra time getting to know the patient. It is the image of a doctor that many of us strive to preserve for ourselves and our own family members.

In this day an age of digital scheduling, gone should be the days of the cattle-call of large waiting rooms, and a return of the familiar doctor that visits our home to treat us where we are most comfortable.