The Pipes of Pain

Would you go to a dentist called Dr. Pain? Would your decision change if you knew he was going to play bagpipes for you as he waited for your anesthesia to take effect?

Unfortunately, the question is moot, since Dr. Rodney Pain, the bagpipe-playing dentist of San Francisco, is surely no longer in practice. (He's probably no longer alive.) A photo and caption detailing his unusual blend of dentistry and Scottish music ran in newspapers back in early 1966. [Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, Spokane Daily Chronicle]

     Posted By: Alex - Mon Sep 10, 2012
     Category: Medicine | Music | 1960s

Depends on what music he was going to play, and whether he was any good. And whatever the answers to those questions, that has to be seriously loud in a small room like that. Bagpipes are designed to be played in places whose area is measured in acres, not square feet.

There's a dentist near me named Les Rager.
Posted by TheCannyScot in Atlanta, GA on 09/10/12 at 11:00 AM
I think he missed his calling. With a name like Dr. Rod Pain I would think maybe urology? :coolsmile:
Posted by Tyrusguy on 09/10/12 at 11:17 AM
I think he might have been the inspiration for the dentist in The Little Shop of Horrors.
Posted by tadchem on 09/10/12 at 11:30 AM
One of my seldom-needed skills is tuning bagpipes!

(Two brothers had a sideline of making bagpipes. The one who made the pipes got too sick to work, so the other one brought the wood to our shop so he could finish up the orders they had. No matter how closely you machine the wood, you have to hand sand part it to get the right note.)

I only did it that one time, and I don't have the equipment now, but it does add interest to a resume'.
Posted by Phideaux on 09/10/12 at 12:36 PM
Fortunately I've been blessed with good teeth and except for extraction of crooked last molars my experiences have been mostly pleasant with dental work.

I would think twice about going to see a general practice doctor named Butcher, though. (My brother worked in a hospital with one so named on staff.)
Posted by KDP on 09/10/12 at 12:47 PM
How about my UCLA anesthesiology resident class (1980) colleague Dr. Brownell Payne, who became a pain specialist in Kansas City? Would you visit his clinic?
Posted by Joe Stirt aka bookofjoe on 09/10/12 at 02:36 PM
He looks a little like Dr.Evil. :lol:
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 09/10/12 at 08:54 PM
There's a Dr. Πόνος (Pain) on my route over to my Wed. AM meetings.

And dentists are the last remnants of the Questioners of Inquisition.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 09/11/12 at 12:15 AM
Some of you will know the Far Side cartoon, with the two options at demise: Welcome to heaven; here's your harp. Welcome to Hell: here's your accordion. And one supposes that they could torment accordion players with bag pipes. It would take one's mind off any dental pain.
Posted by Harvey on 09/11/12 at 12:23 AM
Can't tell if the patient's mouth is open for dental work or screaming to stop that infernal noise. Wonder if patient gets a discount if they sit through a "concert"??
Imagine the receptionist: "Oh god, there he goes again, I need another drink..." Wonder how many receptionist he goes through a year or maybe they are stone deaf?
Posted by IA Boy on 09/11/12 at 07:55 AM
My childhood dentist had taken the name of Dr. Comfort. Understandably, he was popular in our home town. My mother told me that he explained that his real name was unpronounceable to Americans, so that's the professional name he chose (good choice). She also explained when I was old enough, that Dr. Comfort was a Polish Jew who had barely managed to survive the Holocaust by performing dentistry for the Nazi guards in a concentration camp. I can only imagine that he was charged with gold tooth extractions from their murdered victims, as well. But at least he survived.
Posted by done on 09/12/12 at 09:16 PM
D53- I can only try to imagine the trust / distrust between the dentist and guard! It did remind me of the movie "My name is Nobody". In the old US of A West, Henry Fonda was about to be shaved by a barber who was using a straight razor. Henry kept him concentrated on the shave by nudging his gonads with a Colt 45.
Posted by BMN on 09/12/12 at 11:36 PM
Absolutely, BMN. Of course, there must have been much more to it, but that's all I know. That doctor's memories must have haunted him for the rest of his life. But he was in his 60's when I was a child, tho, so is surely long-gone by now.
Posted by done on 09/13/12 at 12:08 AM
Genius! After a close-range bagpipe serenade, the sound of the dental drill must have seemed like a sweet relief.
Posted by Marlon Campbell on 10/08/12 at 03:49 PM
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