The guy on the second floor

A FRIEND OF MINE found out something new about the guy on the second floor the other day. Well, the other night, actually.

You see, the fire alarms in their building went off at 3:00 a.m. Standing on the doorstep in their hastily thrown-on robes and jeans, the evacuated residents found themselves in one of those unplanned situations where you do more talking to your neighbor in a half-hour than you might have done in the past two years.

As the conversation went on, the wife of the guy on the second floor—he's a doctor—told my friend about her husband's struggle to establish his medical practice. Apparently his colleagues think that this doctor "spends too much time" talking with his patients about their thoughts and concerns and feelings. It seems the guy on the second floor is a big believer in upping the average on time spent discussing what you might call "the things of the heart and soul." And his patients seem to appreciate it.

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May 27, 2002

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