Bruce has treatments at Dana Farber every Thursday. Between his blood draw and infusion, we take the elevator to the third floor cafeteria for a late lunch.
The fact that I spotted a doctor eating lunch was no big deal … except for one thing: he was striking! He was the absolute epitome of a “doctor,” the kind you see in TV ads—white coat, white hair, open, friendly expression, grandfatherly, a concerned expression while he reads information (about some patient awaiting a diagnosis, I imagined). And … he was reading on his lunch break, no less. Perfect doctor!
I nudged my husband. “Doesn’t that doctor look almost like a FAKE doctor?” I asked.
“What do you mean? He looks pretty real to me.” Bruce is very literal.
“He’s real, obviously, but he looks exactly like the stereotypical person an advertising agency would cast as a doctor. Don’t you think?”
When we got up to toss our trash, I followed Bruce right past Doctor Perfect.
I was almost by him when I impulsively stopped and told him, “You know, you look like the kind of doctor who belongs in an advertisement.”
I explained what I meant, and he grinned and said, “Let me tell you a little story.”
So I stood and listened, trash in hand, while Bruce waited across the room by the trash barrel, shaking his head slightly in resignation.
Long story short, Doctor Welch’s wife is an attractive older woman (according to him) and she had been encouraged to model. He accompanied her to one shoot, and whoever was in charge asked, “Who is that man? We want him, too.”
So he consented to sign up, but being a doctor, he never found the time to go to a tryout (or whatever they’re called). But finally, he decided he’d make time for one shoot.
“I wanted to give it a try once,” he said.
When he went to the ad agency, they handed him a white coat and wanted him to portray (surprise!) a doctor. They had not realized he actually was a doctor, but the point is, he’s a doctor who looks exactly like we all want a doctor to look. And in this case, he got paid to look like one. Pretty cool!
He consented to an iPhone photo (which doesn’t do justice to his blue eyes), and when I asked his name, he said, “Bill Welch.” Pretty humble, too.