The Parable of Dr. Bob, Part 2

Posted: April 30, 2014 in Dr. Bob, On Being Apostolic
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Dr. Bob Tries to Persuade

When we last left our intrepid hero Dr. Bob, he was beginning to put the squeeze on all of his patients whom he deemed as carrying too much weight for their own good. Never mind that all the markers of their health told anyone paying attention that they were actually in very good condition, Dr. Bob was insistent that his more chunky patients do their best to make themselves as South Beach as he’d become.

At first, Dr. Bob…the mostly caring, charming, accurate, professional,somewhat concerned, thoughtful, smart, well-educated, up-to-date, rather handsome doctor of now not-so-ample proportions and fairly obnoxious attitude…did his utmost to convince his hefty patients that it was in their best interest to adopt his strict weight loss & diet program. He provided materials for them to read, links to health-oriented websites, and even a DVD or two. He set up seminars on weight loss & diet, engaging famous health experts from across several disciplines to provide instruction. Surely if these chubby people could just be made to understand how much better they could feel, how much better they could look, they’d want to sign on!

But it seemed as if they didn’t get it at all. It seemed that the fact that their blood pressure and blood chemistry were perfect was good enough for them. It seemed as if the knowledge that their heart rate and lung capacity were amazing was good enough for them. Apparently they felt fine, and all the health markers discussed in all the medical journals said they were in excellent health. And, just as apparently, Dr. Bob’s urgent need to form them into his own newly svelte image didn’t impress them at all. They were healthy, and the few extra pounds they carried didn’t really concern them.

Dr. Bob Cranks Up the Pressure

So, when his more plump patients didn’t yield to his thoughtful, inventive, and scientific efforts to convince them of their need to lose weight, Dr. Bob ratcheted up the pressure by acting stern toward those who weren’t accepting his advice. He was wonderfully attentive to those who’d joined his program, but acted more distant and cool toward those who still didn’t really understand what all the fuss was about. That was enough for some…they left Dr. Bob’s practice and found another physician.

You’d think Dr. Bob would have been concerned about the loss of patients…but no. He was so obsessed with weight loss & diet being the answer to all health issues, even when there were no health issues, he didn’t really care if some patients dropped off. “Their loss!” he told himself and all his staff who inquired about the missing ones. “This clinic is here to help people get healthy! And if people don’t want to be healthy, this isn’t the clinic for them!” And when his nurse told him that those who left were healthy, healthy indeed, just a bit heavy, Dr. Bob would only sniff and comment that if they were really healthy they’d understand the importance of his weight loss & diet program.

Dr. Bob Succeeds

For those few heavies who remained, Dr. Bob increased their patient fees to motivate them to join his program, promising a reduction as they lost weight. Instead, he lost a few more patients. Finally, Dr. Bob was outright rude, openly mocking his remaining tubby patients as they sat in the waiting room. At last Dr. Bob managed to have every patient at his clinic looking just as tanned, toned, and South Beach as he did…but only by making the otherwise perfectly healthy chubbies feel so pressured and unwelcome that they had to find another physician to care for their needs.

We end our parable with a picture of Dr. Bob, standing in the centre of his waiting room, looking contentedly around at all the toned, tanned, appropriately slender patients of his practice. And he’s smiling…

…at his success.


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