I'm Not One Of Those Fancy College-Educated DoctorsCommentary • doctors • Opinion • health • college • ISSUE 48•26 ISSUE 42•25 • Jun 21, 2006 By Dr. Mike Ruddy I'm a doctor, and I'm damn good at it. Why? Because I learned to be a doctor the old-fashioned way: gumption, elbow grease, and trial and error. I'm not one of these blowhards in a white coat who'll wear your ears out with 10 hours of mumbo-jumbo technical jargon about "diagnosis" this and "prognosis" that, just because he loves the sound of his own voice. No sir. I just get the job done.Those fancy-pants college-boy doctors are always making a big deal about their "credentials." But I'm no show-off phony with a lot of framed pieces of paper on the wall—I'm the real deal. I got my M.D. on the street. These people think they're suddenly a "doctor" because they memorized a lot of big words and took a bunch of formal tests. But there's plenty of things about being a doctor they'll never learn in their ivory-tower medical school.For example, did you know that human intestines, if they spill out of the abdomen during surgery, can spool out all over the floor if you're not careful? You won't find that in a book, my friend.When it comes to practicing medicine, I focus on the basics. In a life-threatening situation, you've got to think on your feet. I don't waste time going on and on about which virus is which or whose blood type is whose. I get out the tools, roll up the shirt sleeves, slick back my hair, and get in there all the way up to the elbows. The patient's not going to magically heal just because you know a lot of complicated terms like "bovine spongiform encephalitis," or "antibiotics."You want to know where I got my doctor's degree? At the Medical School of Hard Knocks, that's where. No matter what they say, advanced graduate studies won't teach you when somebody needs a shot of whiskey. Yale and Harvard don't tell you when to throw a bucket of water on a patient. And they can never teach you how to tell when someone just needs a good solid punch in the nose to bring them around.While they were cooped up in some dorm room reading about being a doctor, I was out there in the real world, being a doctor. And there's no substitute for hands-on experience.Not to mention, my rates are a hell of a lot more reasonable than what one of those college- and med-school-educated doctors will charge you, because I take out all the bells and whistles. You won't catch me pressuring my customers into paying for expensive MRIs and IV drips and electronic X-Ray Vision machines and who the hell knows what else.Jesus, you ever look at one of those scans? They're just a lot of crazy shapes. The only sure-fire method for figuring out what's inside a man's body is to go in there and take a look for yourself. And if you want to put a shunt or a valve into a person, you don't rely on gimmicks like tubes and syringes. You get your hands a little dirty, you open them up, and shove it right in there where it belongs.I hate these elitist doctors almost as much as I hate their Ivy League glee-club buddies, the lawyers. Between their constant "writs" and "summons" and all their hot air about "malpractice" and "licenses," they're enough to drive a man to the point where he can't even practice medicine under his own name anymore, and is forced to pull all his ads from bus-stop benches.If you need a good doctor, you just keep your ears to the ground, and my name will eventually come up—people know how to get ahold of me. When all is said and done, the customer can tell the difference between a real doctor and some dime-store college-educated phony decked out in stethoscopes and ear-flashing things who's never put in an honest day's work in his life. But me, I'm the real deal, salt of the earth, and I don't need a diploma to tell me that.