A Towson doctor's bed-snide manner


A TJI reader in Harford County loves her family doctor but can't stand the patronizing, if-you-don't-like-it-go-somewhere-else tone of his two-page, single-spaced "office policy." She sent along a copy, with phrases highlighted:

"Please limit after hour calls to true emergencies only. We do not consider a prescription refill an emergency. Office hours are subject to change without notice. ... Patients should bear in mind that we have no cure or treatment for the common cold and

other common viral symptoms. We ask that patients not call the office for such simple self-limited complaints. ... In general, we will attend to your paperwork needs in a timely fashion, however please be advised that it will be on our time schedule not yours."

Doesn't exactly sound like the ol' bedside manner, does it?

The part of the office policy that's most annoying is the late rule on appointments. "Patients late 10 minutes or more for their appointment will be required to reschedule."

No exceptions, either, as our TJI reader discovered.

"I was 10 minutes late for an appointment due to fighting traffic on I-95 and not being able to find a parking spot in the very crowded lot [in Towson] and having to push a baby stroller up a grassy hill when I finally found a spot," she tells us. "And he wouldn't see me!"

If that happened to me, I'd be like a new tire -- on the rim and out the door.

But our friend in Harford County keeps going back to Towson because she thinks she has a great doctor and men such as this are hard to find. I think Seinfeld felt the same way about the Soup Nazi.

Modell as role model

Here's the thing about what young Todd Jacobson, sports editor of the student newspaper at Towson University, has written about Art Modell: We don't go there anymore. If we believe Art Modell betrayed the people of Cleveland and really take that belief to our collective soul, then we must abstain from support of his Baltimore Ravens. We cannot enjoy the franchise in any way. We can't eat Siragusa Pizza. We can't even listen to Nasty or Stan The Fan.

Thus, few are the Baltimore sports fans who see Art Modell as a greedy man who pulled out of a city that had supported his professional football franchise for decades. We -- that is, the people of Maryland, represented by our governor and the stadium authority -- are all complicit in Modell's exit from Cleveland. We had been shunned by the National Football League through two expansions, so we went after existing franchises, including the storied Browns of Cleveland. We executed a full-scale blitz to attract Modell to Baltimore. Art Modell took an offer he couldn't refuse.

The rest is history. The Ravens will move into a new stadium in late summer. Thousands of football fans have forked over millions of dollars for permanent seat licenses and season tickets. I would say they have learned to live with the idea that Art Modell did to Cleveland in 1995 what Bob Irsay did to Baltimore in 1984. Actually, we don't go there anymore.

But that doesn't mean young Todd Jacobson is wrong.

As sports editor of the Towerlight, he wrote a column criticizing his university's choice of Art Modell as speaker and honorary degree recipient at commencement tomorrow. Jacobson doesn't think Modell is a good role model for graduates. What's the inspirational message in such a choice? Take the best deal you can get?

"Are jealousy and greed the characteristics Towson has tried to instill in its graduates?" Jacobson wrote. "No, but their last act at Towson will be hearing a man with no conscience lecture them on what it is like to be in the real world. 'Take the money, no matter what you have to do for it,' he might say. 'The almighty dollar supercedes integrity and if you have a conscience, you aren't going to succeed.' ... [Modell] repeatedly denied reports he was planning on moving the Browns until the day in 1995 that he struck a deal, and then pronounced his previous announcements 'null and void.' Sure sounds like the type of person I want to hear on the biggest day of my life."

That's a mouthful, and hard to swallow around Baltimore.

We never wanted to think of Art Modell as Irsay-like. What Modell did was different from what Irsay did, right?


You see the problem with going there.

We don't go there anymore.

Reunion reservations

Any City College grads out there planning to attend the 50th reunion dinner of the February and June classes of 1948? Arnie Lipman needs to know (410-486-7815). He says to tell you that the event is at the Center Club -- pretty fancy -- and that you have a choice of three dinners: crab cakes, sirloin or broiled salmon. So start thinking about it now. You only have till tomorrow to place your order. Late arrivals get Waldorf salad. ... Meanwhile, Carlyn Johnson (Southern High, Class of 1936) says eight Depression-era classes (1932-1939) are having a reunion Saturday at Snyder's Willow Grove Restaurant, and they have four sit-down dinner choices -- crab cakes, prime rib, chicken breast or crab imperial. Is this a great country, or what? (By the way, Southern High's motto: "Honor, diligence, self-control." I guess that means no seconds at the sit-down.)

Winners and sinners

Today's yewts: In a current events quiz, half of a spring semester journalism class at Towson University identified Yasser Arafat as the prime minister of Israel. Only two students were aware of The Sun's recent Pulitzer Prize, though five believed we had won a Nobel. ... In a spring newsletter, the principal of a local Catholic school sent a little thank-you to participants in a March science fair competition: "At this time, I would also like to thank our panel of judges who worked long and hard on Monday night to determine our sinners." (No word on what the penance was.)

Pub Date: 5/27/98

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