I've just been for a check-up with Dr Michael Mol at his surgery on the set of Hello Doctor. The consultation started with the whole: "Tell me what's wrong with you," Q&A thang one always does when you're a new patient, then I hit his consulting room bed:
How come chicks always fall in lurve with their man-doctors?Michael:
I suppose it's a lot easier to fall in love with a man-doctor than a woman-doctor. I don't know ... I think it probably has something to do with the knowledge, the confidence, their understanding but I have no idea - I've never fallen in love with a man-doctor so you're asking the wrong guy.Tashi:
It's a phenomenon don't you think? I've often heard chicks saying: "Oh he's my doctor and he's so
I suppose what doctors are paid to do - and what good doctors do is - they listen to you.
I think for a woman to sit down and - even if it's just for 15 minutes - with a guy who says: "How are you doing? Tell me about it. Really?" Asking questions - who wouldn't love that?
A lot of the time our wives don't even get that from us so you better get it from doctors.
Michael in his surgery.
What's the most important thing when it comes to bedside manner?Michael:
I think bedside manner for me is possibly honesty and a real connection. A lot of doctors can treat disease and what you have but they don't often connect with you.
For me it comes down to dealing with the whole person: this is Tashi I'm dealing with, not Tashi's leg or knee or rash or whatever.
Yes so I'm not like a specimen.
Trying to look alluring in mid-consultation while Michael takes my temperature with a cam.
Judging the Best Dressed Couple at The MET.
In terms of your own medical practising before you were on TV - were you in a white coat at Groote Schuur?Michael:
I wasn't, I did all my studies and training in Pretoria so if you ever saw me in practise it would be with a white coat on, a stethoscope round the neck and generally with blood spatters all over my jacket.Tashi:
Were you in trauma?Michael:
I worked in emergency, yes. In a casualty ward for many years and also in the flight service in Gauteng - on Echo 1 and 2 so if I wasn't in my white coat I was in a jumpsuit, flying around as the flight doctor, getting patients out of cars that were in accidents, or out of burning shacks, that sort of thing.
Very much adrenalin driven medicine which kind of ties into my nature but also it was great - people come in in their hour of need and you get to manage them, treat them, stabilise them and it's wonderful - it's very satisfying.
An adrenalin run in ER.
What's the worst thing you ever saw?Michael:
A young guy came in, I think he was about 19, he had a little blue hole - he'd been shot with a 9mm pistol and he literally almost bled out.
He just walked in, breathing heavily, gasping, saying: "I don't want to die, I don't want to die." It just so happened that I had a cardiothoracic surgeon with me, he'd seen another one of my patients at the time.
We took him straight into the emergency room, we took a scalpel through the intercostal muscles of the chest, I put my hand right in, into his chest, grabbed his heart and started doing internal cardiac massage.Tashi: Don't
The cardiothoracic surgeon then kind of ... we call it cracking the chest - working the sternum.
Once that was open I could take my hand out and the cardiothoracic surgeon took the heart and while he was physically massaging it, repaired the bullet hole and closed it up and saved the patients life while the rest of the magnificent team we had in Pretoria were pumping fluids in, getting blood transfusions going - it was an amazing experience.
Michael graduated in 1995 and practised from 1996 to 2000.
You're obviously not squemish?Michael:
You can't afford to be.
What do you think of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Nurse Jackie - all the medical shows?Michael:
A big confession: I've never watched Grey's Anatomy.Tashi:
Oh lucky you - it's terrible. But I'm the only person in the world who thinks so. Michael:
You know what I used to watch as a student, is ER - I was very impressed. When it first came out, we used to sit as students and watch.
I can't remember the actors name but he'd throw an X-ray up on the screen and we'd go: "Plural space! It's a hemothorax or a pneumothorax."
The guy would go: "Hemothorax" and we'd go like: "Yes!" Tashi:
So the show was all correct?Michael:
It's interesting you haven't watched Grey's Anatomy - I find it too sentimental and there's something about it that annoys me. It's difficult to explain but I've always had the sense that the actors are saying: "Oh, we're just such a mad-for-it bunch of doctors man," It feels like they're acting doctors instead of being them. And House? Do you watch that?Michael:
Oh yes I do - I love House - that guy is just brilliant. His deductive reasoning, his character, his acid and rancid approach he gives patients, it's just mystifying.
I love his way of thinking and I laud his passion for the patient even though he's got such a terrible bedside manner. He really has a heart for getting to the bottom of things and finding the root cause of the problem. That's fascinating - I love