Dr. Simi’s casual friday outfit. Normally he dons a lab coat.
A while back, I wrote a story for the Washington Post about my epic, ridiculously time-consuming search for a doctor in D.C. The piece ended on a happy note: I found a doc! But by the time the article came out, I was living in Mexico. Naturally, the commute to said doc had become less convenient.
WHAT TO DO !?! WHAT TO DO !?! ALL MY HARD WORK FOR NAUGHT!
But relatively quickly, I became familiar with Dr. Simi. He’s the mascot for Farmacias Similares, a widespread chain of pharmacies in Mexico that have in-house doctor offices. You show up whenever you want, wait your turn and open sesame : behind a door sits a doctor…in a dingy, windowless room. He asks about your symptoms and in about three minutes – with or without a doctorly pat-down – he delivers a prescription. When you’re done, you pay him 30 pesos (less than $3) and then of course, you turn the corner and pick up your meds.
I’ve been to Dr. Simi twice (different guys). Seemingly, Señor Simi is the answer to all the doctor problems I had in the United States. But there’s just one nagging concern when it comes to Dr. Simi’s recommendations: How are you really supposed to trust a doctor that costs 30 pesos and works in a cell?
The first time I visited Dr. Simi, I went with an also-ill friend. Upon leaving his examining room, she turned to me and said “He looks like a gangster!” The second Dr. Simi finished up his diagnosis after I told him how to diagnose me – the entire conversation lasted about 90 seconds.
It could be worse: the guy in the plush suit could be writing out prescriptions. So well, Dr. Simi isn’t exactly an all-purpose doctor. He’s a quick fix. (When I had a more complicated problem, I found another doc.)
But here’s the bottom-line: his prescribed meds worked! And the plush Dr. Simi is the cutest, and everyone loves him.
Sweet, cuddly and he’ll give you drugs…
Top photo: By El mundo de Laura (Flickr Creative Commons License)
Bottom photo: By xurde (Flickr Creative Commons License)