“How are you?” “I am just fine.”
“I really do love your hair that way.” “Do you like it?”
“Yes I do.” I’ve always felt that medicine was a vocation
and a calling. It’s been an avenue to do the things that I thought were the goals in
my life and I’m pleased with it. As an aside to my medical career, I have had
a very strong and exciting marriage to my wife Abbie.
When I went into private practice, July 2, 1979, we had borrowed money from the bank,
we had ordered instruments, we had rented space and there were three of us, one employee,
Abbie and I. We saw three patients that day.
At the initial portion of the day we promised each other that we wouldn’t answer the phone
on the first ring, we’d wait until it rang three times, because we didn’t want people
to think we weren’t busy. There was a pediatrician here in town named
George Clock who would introduce you to the family by sending one of the children. That
introduction was, if you did well of course, an introduction to the whole family. Pretty
soon grandma and grandpa showed up and mom and dad, and so it blossomed.
The thing that I always noticed about Dr. Crawford was the loyalty of his patients.
That always intrigued me because you could just see it in the patients that would follow
him for years and years. I understand now because he was always there
for them. Whether it was in the grocery store or whether it was calling him at home, seeing
him at the office, he was always their doctor. I always admired him for that.
He’s full of compassion, he’s full of caring, he explains everything to you. He
meets you where you’re at and he’s so respectful of his patients.
He’s the most humble human being I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and I can’t
think of enough adjectives to say about Dr. C. He’s just a wonderful human being.
This practice gave me a very rewarding, personal benefit, a blessing so to speak.
I think it was several years ago that we marked the fact that I had seen four generations
of patients and that I was continuing to see the younger patients.
I am blessed with the compliments and the trust that these families have offered to
me as a caregiver. Well before I came Dr. Crawford actually worked
with Pat Brookhouser here at Boys Town, so Pat Brookhouser had a relationship with Mike
for many years. When it was at that point in Mike’s career
when he wanted to find employment with somebody, rather than private practice, we were thrilled,
because Mike is, and was, Council Bluffs ENT. If anybody needed ENT services in Council
Bluffs, it was Dr. Crawford. That was the name, so for him to join us and bring his
reputation and together with Boys Town, it was great for both us.
Boys Town has been very kind to provide a site, a staff and physicians that will be
able to take over my care. I feel very strongly about the continuation
of care for this community. They are my people and I want the best for them.
Abbie and I are still fairly mobile. Now we’re hoping to take a little bit longer trips of
two and three weeks and that hopefully, will happen over the next several years.
I would like very much to be able to read and speak Italian and I am proceeding through
various avenues to try and learn that. I have a granddaughter who is the apple of
my eye and is now reaching two years of age. I hope to spend a lot of time with her as
a mentor and as a member of her very close family.
“And you’ll be in good hands.” It has been a very emotional trip in the last
six months or so when the prospect of retirement was kind of looming on the horizon.
It has been 40 years of trying to do good for people.
I had no expectations that I would have a doctor crying or his patients crying about
stopping some of this. I have loved them, they have loved me and
we have been blessed. I think I will miss most the patient contact,
the ability to talk to people, and to see a lot of people in my day. I’ll miss the
challenge of being able to sort out their problems and being able to fix or manage what
their difficulties are. I’m hoping that, even though I’m not actively
practicing, that I can now participate in the functions of the community that are not
necessarily medicine. I want to thank Dr. Crawford for a couple
of things. One, obviously, is he brought great value to us in bringing his private practice
to Boys Town, but even more than that, I want to thank him for great care.
He really cared for his patients, not just provided ENT services, but he cared for his
patients and I really want to thank him for that.
I would like to be remembered as someone who cares, who was easy to talk to, a friend.
I would have liked to have done good work as well as made right decisions whether they
were surgical or otherwise. I would hope that I would be a good role model
for a physician, a father, and a member of the community.
The staff at Boys Town and the general hospital have been wonderful. The OR and the outpatient
people have been absolutely terrific. I want to thank the patients.
There is a lot of different ways of looking at this picture but there is no one finer
than a person who trusts you, who brings you their body, or maybe the body of their children,
and says “here, we have a problem, let’s see what we can do to fix it.”
They have thanked me many a time and I would like very much to thank them always, but especially