Do you remember house calls?

norinew’s thread about doctors picking up the phone to call a patient made me think about house calls – when the doctor came to your house.

I’m not THAT old (50 in a couple of months), but when I was little, our pediatrician made house calls. Dr. Gallagher. She was awesome in both the traditional and contemporary sense of that word. It was really wonderful to have the doctor come to you when you felt sick as a dog. On the other hand, when Dr. Gallagher showed up, with her brown crocodile doctor bag, you knew you were REALLY sick, the kind of sick that could result in getting A Shot, every child’s nightmare.

I cried when Mom declared I was too old to go to Dr. Gallagher and had to go to her and Dad’s G.P.instead. A male G.P. For my first pelvic! AAACK!

Does anyone else remember doctors making house calls?

Yes, I remember them. My mother’s doctor still makes house calls.

When I was very little and lived in the Bronx we had a Doctor that made house calls. This was right up until 1970. I even remember his name. Dr. Kayhill. My spelling is probably wrong. I think he had one of those weird black alligator bags.

More recently my Grandmother actually had a doctor make a house call in the late 90s when she was in her early 90s. So I guess that at least NYC still does have some Doctors that make house calls.

Same here. Bronx, late 1960s, pediatrician made house calls, alligator bag. Our doctor was a woman though, I don’t remember her name but my mother might.

She definitely came to our house (well, apartment) on one occasion I remember and I assume there were others as well (there were three kids in the family at the time).


Dr. Little came to our house when me and my three older brothers all came down with measles at the same time.

He was a gruff, crusty old bastard with no bed-side manner but he was also a well-respected and much loved doctor. When he died in the wreck of the Air Florida jet in DC the whole city mourned him.

Tangential: NajaPop DVM still makes house calls, when a pet is elderly or it would be otherwise traumatic for them to come to the hospital. Also to perform euthanization in comfort at home. I don’t think he’d do it if it were a more impersonal practice, but we live in a small town and his clients are also his friends. He’s even got an alligator bag.

Also, two years ago at Christmas time my dad had severe bronchitis which we thought was settling into pneumonia. Our family doctor stopped by on Christmas eve to check on him.

There’s a lot to be said about living in more urban areas, but I sure do miss being part of a small-town community.

Yup; my dad was a Dr. (a GP in a rural county in Arkansas) and made house calls up until the early 70s. My stepmom still has his old black leather Dr. bag.

Some still do here. You have to be pretty crook.

You can also get the traveling after hours doctors who will charge you a fortune and give you an aspirin. They often bring a minder with them.

I am not complaining- I can understand.

You can get house call medical service today. It’s called concierge medicine. Gotta be willing to pay for it, that’s all. A lot of people are willing to pay to get the extra personal care.

Back in the early 80’s, I had the flu real bad, and the village pediatrician came by. This was in Finland (rural at that) and she was the only doctor around. Her and the nurse who worked at the practice must’ve tended to every child in the area.

When I was really little, I can remember the doctor coming to our house when I had a bad case of the flu - but I believe it also had something to do with the fact that we lived nearby and and he stopped on his way home from the office.

I also remember milk being delivered to our house, gas station attendants who would wash your windows and check your oil while they filled your tank with 30 cent a gallon gasoline, and the mailman would deliver mail twice a day to our house.

My doctor made a house call on me back in the 1960s. I’d hurt my leg and couldn’t walk.
My father was pissed – he was convinced I could’ve limped or hobbled or hopped if i really wanted to. I gather that the House Call cost us extra.

When I was a little tyke, my pediatrician was always ready to stop by and see how I was doing.

Sometime later we learned he was having an affair with our next door neighbor.

<hijack> Between the font size and my eyes, at first glance I thought that said I also remember being delivered in our house and as you might imagine, my immediate response was :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

On another run through, I also remember the milk man delivering the milk with the cream on the top, in GLASS bottles, no less :smiley: </hijack>

As to the OP -=- yes, picture it, Brooklyn NY, 1957, yours truly sicker than a dog, good old Dr. Suna came by and did something, not sure what, but at least I’m here to babble about it today :slight_smile:

I don’t remember physician house calls, but…

The vet I used until 4 years ago (and hope to use again soon) not only makes house calls, but that’s her entire practice. She has a small van full of equipment for routine exams and shots, and a larger van that she can bring animals into for procedures like feline teeth cleaning, and she recommends a local animal hospital for invasive surgery, etc. She’s a little more expensive than a “you come to me” vet, but totally worth it – not having to take my cat in the car for checkups and shots was priceless! Now I kind of have a stepdog, and we’re planning to get a puppy this fall, and I’m hoping to use that same vet again. Dogs are easier in the car, but she’s an awesome vet!

I lived in Yorkshire, England from '83-'85, and that’s how our milk was delivered. I cleaned out and kept one of the glass bottles when my family came back to the States: I put clear tape across the top to keep out dust, and it’s been displayed in various places where I’ve lived for the past 23 years.

Sounds like a good idea. Last time I had to take the cat to the vet- which she hates- I rounded her up and put her in the cage and into the car.

Good news- the car wouldn’t start. Got RACQ (car support service ) out and he found that the boot (trunk) light was not going off when the boot was shut.

He said “That is your problem”.

I said “No- my problem is I have a right royally pissed off cat”.

House calls is one of the things SiL has to do as part of her daily duties. It’s not for general patients; in general, if you’re well enough to walk to the local medical center, you get off your bum and walk. But every day she has between 1 and 4 calls to visit patients who are old, infirm, bedridden or who have called emergency during “medical center hours” and aren’t bleeding (i.e., the call sounds serious enough to have a doctor take a look, but as a hospital stay may be avoidable, it’s a GP and not an ambulance who gets sent). ER docs may also get sent for house calls; medical centers in villages double as the local ER during “non center hours,” so in general if you call emergency, you’ll get a visit by the doc and then he decides whether to call an ambulance or not.

Spanish Social Security doesn’t quite rock, but at least it tries.