Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
After Lu Wenbin bandaged the little girl’s wound and watched as she left together with her parents, a weight was finally lifted off his mind.
“That was such a dangerous situation. I was so afraid that her mother would slap you in the face. At that time, where would I be able to find someone who can suture as well as you to suture the wound on your face?” Lu Wenbin did not really approve of the way Ling Ran did things in the treatment room.
The status of the doctors who were involved in first-line treatment were too low, and was neither valued by the hospital nor the patients.
Even though the treatment of patients was involved in both debridement, suturing, and finger replantation surgeries, patients with severed fingers would not be as calculative as patients with wounds on the skin. Aside from that, chief surgeons did not have to worry about things such as payment. Usually, Ling Ran worked in the operating theater while Lu Wenbin settled things such as informing the patient’s family members regarding what to pay attention to, presenting the preoperative notice, and letting the patient’s family members sign the consent form.
Lu Wenbin hoped that he could also become a doctor with such a simple-minded focus when he got promoted one day, instead of wasting his time worrying about things like the mother’s complex and shallow thoughts just now.
Ling Ran tidied up the tray in front of him and said, “Suturing patients using the heavy reinforcing suture technique, and performing finger replantation surgeries are both interesting in their own ways.”
“If I were to choose between a life-saving skill and a skill that ensures that a patient’s wound scars nicely, I would rather learn the one that saves lives first…” Lu Wenbin, who had only become a full member of the medical world a year ago, shook his head. Even though he did not agree with what Ling Ran said, he did not want to refute him in front of others.
As a junior resident doctor, Lu Wenbin yearned to learn medical skills that allowed him to save lives. The heavy reinforcing suture technique could indeed reduce scarring and was much more favoured by those who cared a lot about their appearances compared to techniques such as the continuous suture technique, and interlocking suture technique. But, so what?
Lu Wenbin did not feel like learning this kind of skill. And when he thought about the amount of time and energy it took to learn a new skill… Lu Wenbin would rather spend his time on taking care of his stew.
His stew was more interesting, anyway. A good pot of stew would make the food he cooked fresher and more aromatic, and it would be difficult to replace that taste with other methods.
Lu Wenbin loved to see the satisfied smiles on other people’s faces when they ate the braised dishes he cooked.
When he thought about those anticipating gazes, Lu Wenbin could almost feel himself floating.
Doctor Zhou understood young doctors like Lu Wenbin way too much. He snorted, “Did you think that you would get to learn whatever skills you want to learn?”
Lu Wenbin was astonished for a moment before he laughed out loud. “I’m learning the finger replantation surgery, M-Tang surgery, and Achilles tendon repair technique from Doctor Ling at the same time anyway. I wouldn’t be able to finish learning any of them.”
Doctor Zhou pursed his lips when he heard that. He was rendered speechless.
Every doctor faced different circumstances when it came to learning skills in the hospital. In short, it depended on the doctors’ luck.
If a doctor were to follow an excellent mentor, he may learn a good skill. If the opposite were to happen, the doctor would be doomed. There was a possibility that a doctor would be thrown around into learning different skills and end up mastering nothing. The most tragic ones were the doctors who did not even learn how to slack off.
When he thought about this, the corners of Doctor Zhou’s lips curled up.
It was really hard for ordinary doctors to control the direction in which their skill tree grew. There was a great possibility that in the end, the direction of the skill tree would be jointly decided by the hospital the doctor was in, his mentor, his patients, and even the era he lived in. However, it was very hard for a doctor to reach the pinnacle of any skill.
“It’s time to get off work. I’ll take my leave first.” Doctor Zhou rose and shook his clothes. His manner was like that of a relaxed man who had lived during chaotic times.
Two nurses turned their heads away in contempt.
“Let’s go home, too.” Ling Ran also shook his clothes. His large white coat was a little wrinkly from the day’s work. It spread out when he shook the coat, and it was as though his entire body sparkled with a sacred light. He looked extremely handsome.
“Huh? You’re going home so early today?” Doctor Zhou suddenly felt as if his psychological advantage had disappeared.
“There’s steamed salted pork in wine today at home,” Ling Ran answered with a smile.
Lu Wenbin nodded in understanding. “Then, I’ll also go home and make some pork trotters. I reckon that I’ll need to braise four pots of them tonight for it to be enough.”
The three of them chatted as they left the treatment room.
When Doctor Zhou walked side by side with Ling Ran, he thought that everyone around them looked at him. At that moment, he felt even more pressured than when he operated as a chief surgeon for the first time.
Lower Groove Clinic.
Ling Jiezhou made himself busy for the entire afternoon. After he was done with work, he cut the slab of pork belly he cooked yesterday into large slices, and smeared some fermented bean curd on them. He then arranged them neatly on a few plates and put the plates into a large steamer.
Soon, a fragrant aroma wafted out of the large steamer.
“Eating seafood porridge without flower crabs feels as if I’ve just mistreated my stomach.” Ling Jiezhou sat in front of the tea table. There was a smile on his face as he watched the neighbors who walked up and down the alley.
Tao Ping elegantly poured herself a cup of tea and said flatly, “But you were craving pork, too, right?”
“I was craving for it, and I could have just bought a bowl of pork somewhere else, but it wouldn’t be as nice as the one I make myself.” Ling Jiezhou patted his stomach and said, “I remember back when I was younger, my family only dared to make steamed salted pork in wine during Chinese New Year. Otherwise, a lot of people would come when they smell the aroma. Even one day’s income wasn’t enough for us to distribute meat to all those people.”
“You even distributed the meat?”
“Some of them would bring food over, such as meatballs and ribbonfish. There were also some people who didn’t bother about the rule of giving something of equivalent value when they came to eat, and they would bring two roasted potatoes over and say that those potatoes were a gift for us. What could we do in that situation? We can’t give them empty bowls back when we return the bowls, right? So we had no choice but to put some steamed salted pork in wine in the bowl. And it wouldn’t reflect well on us if the bowl looked too empty, so we had to put some potatoes under the meat. At that time, they would even complain that we didn’t sautée the potatoes.”
Tao Ping started to laugh when she heard that and said, “When I was younger, I always gave other families eggs in exchange for chicken meat or some other things…”
“You were very cute when you were little. Other people would be happy even if you went empty-handed.”
“Stop fooling around. Eggs were very expensive back then.” Tao Ping gave Ling Jiezhou a light shove.
Ling Jiezhou reckoned that he had successfully sucked up to Tao Ping, and he immediately said, “Our sales went up again today.”
“A lot of people came to chat, and they bought some things while they were at it before they left,” Ling Jiezhou said, rather pleased with himself. “My idea of coming up with a health product section wasn’t bad, right?”
“Come, have some tea.” Tao Ping rose again and poured Ling Jiezhou a cup of tea. Ling Jiezhou happily sipped it.
As the clinic’s business bloomed, its function as a social hub was slowly restored.
In a place like Yun Hua, shops located beside streets and lanes were never purely just shops. The people in the neighborhood liked to gather inside the most popular shops to chat and kill time.
Thirty years ago, Lower Groove Clinic was the most popular shop in Lower Groove. Even people who visited the clinic only to buy flu medicine would also sit there for an entire afternoon. Before they left, they would then buy some herbs to bring home to make stewed chicken. They could even claim medical insurance for the money they spent on the herbs.
Twenty years ago, the liveliest place was the small store at the entrance of Lower Groove. They sold beer and soft drinks, and in summer, the people in the neighborhood would sit there the whole day.
Nowadays, shops other than restaurants and mahjong houses were no longer large enough for a couple dozen, or even almost a hundred neighbors to chat inside.
So, Lower Groove Clinic’s large courtyard became everyone’s favourite place.
This was especially true for the senior citizens in the neighborhood. They would chat as they received fluid transfusions, and when they were tired of talking, they would take a nap. It was comfortable and natural.
Of course, most importantly, Lower Grove Clinic could now attract more than just regular patients from its own neighborhood; it was also visited by people from Upper Groove and the areas around it. Since their social circle expanded, they now had more steady sources of customers.
“Chief Ling…” Doctor Miao stood at the bottom of the stairs and shouted, interrupting the lovebirds upstairs.
“Doctor Miao, what’s up?” Even though Ling Jiezhou was reluctant, he quickly went downstairs.
“I just finished suturing the VIP patient Golden Deer Health Services sent over just now. She happily paid and left,” Doctor Miao said with a smile.
Lu Jinling’s Golden Deer Health Services grew rapidly, and had long since abandoned their vans and replaced all of them with old and new ambulances. Lately, Golden Deer Health Services even centralized their new ambulances to use them specifically for ‘VIP routes’ in the city. Aside from receiving patients who went to and from hospitals regularly, they were mainly used to ferry frequenters of all kinds of beauty centers, nightclubs, and karaoke centers.
The VIP patients got to sit in brand-new ambulances that were spacious and comfortable. There were no extra charges, either. They just needed to dial Golden Deer Health Services’ number directly or place an order through WeChat or Alipay. Since they were running a promotion recently, they attracted a lot of patients.
Lately, even Doctor Miao’s number of patients had been steadily increasing, especially patients who requested to be sutured using reverse cutting needles. He would get to perform two or three cases of them every day using those needles.
According to the agreement between Ling Jiezhou and Miao Tansheng, Doctor Miao would receive 40% of the medical fees after the cost of the materials was subtracted from the total amount. With the increase in patients asking for cosmetic suturing, Doctor Miao was making a substantial amount of money.
When he heard that the clinic had made money again, Ling Jiezhou could not help but smile. “It’s good that the patient is happy. You know, when it comes to VIP patients, other than treating their illnesses, we must also ensure that they arrive and leave our clinic happily.”
“Of course. But lately, the demand for this service has been increasing. It is quite a headache for me, too.” Miao Tansheng massaged his temples with a troubled expression on his face. “You see, now that the number of patients in the clinic has increased, Juan Zi can’t manage everything by herself at all. As for me, I don’t even have a subordinate who can help me. Chief Ling, you should really hire an assistant and an extra nurse for me.”
“With two additional hires, the cost would be very high. You won’t be able to make such a large profit anymore.”
“I was also about to talk about the cost,” Doctor Miao said with a smile. “I think that the system of calculating my income based on the cost is too difficult, it’s not as if I can use the medical consumables sparingly just because I want to. Why don’t we be more direct and calculate my income based on the fees received?”
Ling Jiezhou could clearly see how Miao Tansheng’s eyes sparkled with greed.
“I’ll think about it.” Ling Jiezhou could not turn Doctor Miao down immediately, it was very hard for him to hire another doctor who was as skilled as Doctor Miao. And it was not as if he could find a doctor who knew cosmetic suture techniques at will…
…And it was not as if cosmetic suture techniques would be handed on a silver platter to his son.
As Ling Jiezhou contemplated the matter, his head ached a little.