Would Someone Please Listen to Dr. Graham?

Burt Lancaster as Dr. Archibald 'Moonlight' Graham in the 1989 film, "Field of Dreams" Photograph by Universal/Everett Collection

“Doc” Graham, as he became known after his career as a ballplayer, served the people of Chisholm for 50 years. From 1915 to 1959, Graham was the doctor for the Chisholm schools.

Archibald Wright ‘Moonlight’ Graham (Nov. 10, 1879 – Aug. 25, 1965)”

Ray Kinsella: Fifty years ago, for five minutes you came within … y-you came this close. It would KILL some men to get so close to their dream and not touch it. God, they’d consider it a tragedy.

Dr. Archibald “Moonlight” Graham: Son, if I’d only gotten to be a doctor for five minutes … now that would have been a tragedy.

Field of Dreams, 1989

As baby boomers age, their care has become more complex and time-consuming. At the same time, some of those baby boomers are also doctors who are expected to retire in the coming years, according to the medical colleges association. One in three doctors nationwide is older than 55.

—Shannon Pettypiece, “Doctor Shortage Spreading in U.S. Presaged in Las Vegas,” Bloomberg News, Oct. 22, 2012

We carry in our memory the doctors that have saved loved ones. Some of us had the privilege of care by doctors from another time and place.

My physician did not look like Burt Lancaster playing Dr. Graham. But he acted like the doctor from Chisholm, Minn. There was a different pace and cadence then. I remember house calls, the car in the driveway, the black bag.

There are few things more profound to a society than its medical care.

Shannon Pettypiece hits one over the Green Monster on the here, now, and future of our doctors.

Forget the romance, truth, and fiction of Field of Dreams. In 2012, no one in our health-care debate is listening to the doctors. Would someone please listen to Dr. Graham? Discuss.

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