Janet's letter appeared in the Spring 2009 issue of Encounters, Venice Family Clinic's semi-annual newsletter.
Dear Doctor

Excerpted from a patient letter received November 2008

Dear Dr. Davidson and Dr. Padilla,

It is only when I cry that my throat hurts, so I do what I can to manage my emotions, but at this writing, I cannot help but be sad and cry.

Though I am saddened to have to discontinue my medical relationship with you, Dr. Davidson, and you, Dr. Padilla, I am pleased to announce that I have been hired full-time, permanent in a “high-fallootin’” career position with a company that will even pay 100% for the Master’s degree I nearly completed 16 years ago!

Since my last appointment, after being hired, I needed to be sure Kaiser would accept me without condition. I’ve just received my Kaiser card, so effective 11.17.08—it is official—I am now a member.

I am a professional woman and know nothing less than hard work, but have been forced to work as a temporary contractor over the past several years. It was absolutely no way to live, but under circumstances of the “wrong degree,” it was the best that this middle-aged college graduate could attain to survive.

Dr. Davidson, you have saved my life, and for this I am truly grateful. And Dr. Padilla, though you have been hard on me, it was for good reason. I have taken it all in and have been obedient (though it took a while to soak in). I am a diabetic! How about that?

I’ve taken my meds as prescribed for my hyperactive thyroid condition, and as a result, I have not had bouts of increased blood pressure, rapid heart rate or hyperglycemic sensations. My health is so much improved over what it was a few years ago—and it has been several years since Venice Family Clinic and you two first began treating me.

As for that “eye thing,” well…life is as it is, and I am not blind!

I have tears pouring down my face right now—cannot help but cry. Your caring and compassion at a time when I could not afford to pay saved me. It really did save my life, and because of you—because of that level of care and compassion—I must do what I must do.

I am arranging an automatic payroll deduction to continue until such time when I can no longer afford to donate (which I pray is never again). At whatever amount I can now afford, my company will match my donation. I am making this arrangement immediately.

Again, Dr. Davidson, you are the best in the business, which makes Dr. Padilla truly blessed to be taught by the best. My contribution will not be nearly sufficient, but if I had a million dollars that I could give, I would give it to Venice Family Clinic. Nonetheless, it is because of you that I must do what I can to help those who come after me to receive care.

In closing, it is needless to say, “Thank You”—as it is just not even enough. May God Bless and Keep You and Yours. Happy New Year!


This story appeared in the Spring 2009 issue of Encounters. Click here to download the entire newsletter as a PDF.

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