Gideon's Crossing
A Routine Case

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Ben carries his sick daughter into his office. A young woman is waiting outside, and it turns out to be Maria's daughter. Ben greets her warmly and invites her into his office. Once inside, Ben says that her mother's tests should be back shortly. The girl reveals that the doctor at the HMO didn't do any tests, just "gave her an inhaler and told her to come back in three months." The girl says that since her mother's English isn't great, she takes her to all of her appointments. Ben says she did the right thing in bringing her mother to the hospital, and explains about the "diagnostic tree" that caused the HMO doctor to make his diagnosis. The daughter blames the HMO's shoddy treatment partially on the fact that they saw her mother as "just another Hispanic cleaning lady in the waiting room." Ben gives a long speech about how Maria inspired him when he was a young doctor, and he's "never forgotten her." The daughter can't even imagine losing her mother.

The loopy doctor from earlier episodes -- he might even be some sort of lab guy -- is talking to Stiles while looking at some x-rays. He goes on about some water flower that grows quickly and can "clog up shipping lanes." Must everyone on this show speak in metaphor? Ben comes in and says, "My God. Maria has leukemia." Stiles relays, apropos of nothing, that Maria's daughter seemed to expect Stiles to do something, but Stiles didn't know what to do. Ben says deadpan, "It's a teaching hospital. You're here to learn. We could call it a learning hospital, but that would scare the patients." Ben gives Stiles some more orders about how to clear up Maria's lungs. It's apparently very bad. Ben says that Maria has been "suffering for months with the wrong diagnosis" when it's something "any medical student could have seen" if the HMO weren't too busy to do blood work. Oh, those HMOs. They are evil.

Ben calls "Back Bay Health Management" and gets put on hold, so he's listening to a Muzak version of the theme from A Summer Place. Actually, it's probably the original. How could you tell the difference?

Some doctor is complaining to Cherry about Overprotective Father. Cherry is worried that the girl will lose her hearing permanently. The doctor is completely unconcerned, even suggesting that the girl is a hypochondriac, or that she got the infection on purpose so that she wouldn't have to listen to her parents. Cherry says he is worried, because he had parents like that himself. Other doctor invites Cherry to take over the case. Cherry needs a haircut.

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Gideon's Crossing

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