Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Is There A Dentist In The House?

“Are you kidding me?”
This was my first thought as I’m driving across West 96th Street and I notice the license plate on the black Mercedes in front of me. I don’t remember the number, just that it was some binary jumble, but the New York City plate had three distinct letters running discretely down the side – DDS – positioned precisely where the letters MD would appear on a doctor’s car.

I know, I know. Dentists are doctors. That’s not my point. My point is why do they need a license plate denoting it?

My understanding about tagging a Doc’s license plate is that it gives them parking ticket immunity. Although it’s surely outdated, the picture that’s conjured in my mind is one of a doctor screeching to a building to help an old man in distress, and his being able to just throw his car any old place, grab his big leather satchel, and rush inside to save a life. It may speak directly to my naïveté, but I’m not aware of any corollary involving dentists.

I have a lot of great dentists in my life. Dentists who call back in 15 minutes and will prescribe painkillers during off hours. And sure, this guy might be running a little late for a surgery scheduled at Mount Sinai. But is there any real reason a dentist requires parking immunity?

I’m just asking.

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