Emdee Encounter: The Doctor Wagon
First Impressions: Two elderly horses slowly dragging some sort of vehicle along the route. Some large dogs (vaguely resembling Dalmations) trot alongside.
The vehicle might once have been a pickup/camper conversion, but it looks as though every metal panel has been replaced with wood.
On each side of the caravan(?) is a brightly-painted sign (well… it was once… it’s beginning to fade a little)
Doctor Albert A. Ginsberg MD, DDS, DVM
Mobile Physician, Dentist and Veterinarian
Sicknesses Cured, Teeth Pulled, Horses Doctored
Compounder and Sole Proprietor of
“NUTRAHEALTHPLUS VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS”
Recommended for all!
The caravan is home to “Doctor” Ginsberg. A tall, dark individual with a booming voice and an odd dignity (think of the travelling showman/wizard in “The Wizard of Oz” or Kelsey Grammer in “Frasier”)
Albert Ginsberg is the proud descendant of a long line of doctors, dentists and vets, and the even prouder father of young Michael Ginsberg (who is currently attending XXXXX University – insert campign-useful name). “Not that they’ll be able to teach the boy much. He’s been helping me since he was 10… when his dear Mother died”
[Ginsberg is ALWAYS cheerful – except when he mentions his deceased wife. He even has a collection of Jewish jokes]
Ginsberg is a technically competent dentist (years of practice have given him the skill to yank a tooth without harming the adjacent ones), a skilled paramedic and a good veterinary technician
A lot of Ginsberg’s abilities are due to having the right equipment: his caravan transports an antique dentist’s chair and a full set of dental tools – and it’s probably difficult to estimate how many babies (both human and animal) have been saved by the Ginsberg family’s collection of forceps, scissors and scalpels.
Examination of Ginsberg’s caravan would be of great interst to a MP Medic. As stated, he has a good collection of medical equipment – but he also has 10 medical books (some printed, some handwritten) that give guidance on treating humans and animals – each generation is expected to add at least one book to the collection and Ginsberg has nearly finished his own notebook.
Ginsberg even has some anaesthetics: resealable cans of ether crystals marked “Hunter Industries, Kentucky”. He prefers not to use these – except when performing a Caesarian or an Amputation. Note: Ginsberg keeps on good terms with local midwives by being smart enough to limit himself to advice on nutrition and hygiene . “In 99 cases out of a hundred, a good midwife is of far more use than a male doctor. I come in useful when it’s an emergency. When it’s a routine birth, I’d only be in the way.”
There is a limited amount of “High-tech”equipment in Ginsberg’s caravan. There is a still, a small (electric) stove with a couple of pressure cookers and a small, (woodgas-powered) portable generator – which looks like someone cannibalised a 20th century generator and a fire-extinguisher.
This generator is a moderately efficient power-source which he uses to run his dentist drills, OR the stove, OR some electric lights and the Ginsberg family “portable autoclave” (which looks suspiciously like another pressure cooker)
As for the “NUTRAHEALTHPLUS VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS” there are 2 versions
“Samson.” “Men’s Vitamins”: essentially flavoured alcohol with additional ingredients taken from: poppy flowers, crushed mint, pine needles and various treebarks
“Sheba” for children and (especially) expectant mothers. The ingredients include honey, fruit wine, pine needles, berries and anything that Ginsberg thinks might be useful. Currently he’s experimenting with dried mushrooms – because of a concern about iodine deficiency. (one of his books is a pamphlet from the University on nutrition and the main food groups). He’d appreciate advice on this topic.
Personality: like most, Ginsberg has a “public” persona and a private one. In public, Ginsberg is a jolly extrovert; he’s everyone’s favourite wise uncle, a little pompous, but kind and knowledgeable. In private, he’s extremely lonely and tired – he just wants to hand over the family business to his son as soon as possible and would jump at any chance to settle down as a “town medic”. It’s only a sense of duty that keeps him going