from Chapter One of Mistreated, by Robert Pearl:
> Fortunately, my dad was a fastidious man, as most dentists are. Whenever the doctors asked him about his prescriptions, he would reach into his pocket and unfurl a tattered piece of paper containing a handwritten list of all his current medications. When prescriptions changed, he’d dutifully cross out the old medication or dosage, and write in the new one.
1) “Fastidious” is a somewhat negative word. It implies that Pearl's
father pays *excessive* attention to detail. I wonder if Pearl meant
it that way.
> 1a : showing or demanding excessive delicacy or care fastidious attention to detail— Robert Evett
> b : reflecting a meticulous, sensitive, or demanding attitude fastidious workmanship
> c : having high and often capricious standards : difficult to please critics … so fastidious that they can talk only to a small circle of initiates— Granville Hicks
2) Are most dentists fastidious? That could be true. It could also be
false. My impression is that being a dentist requires some carefulness
but not an excessive amount and not more than lots of other
3) Pearl points out again that his father is a dentist. And at this
point his father has retired and isn't actually a dentist any more.
I'm not completely certain of the chronology but I think I am correct
about this. The Florida home was purchased after retirement (p. 5) and
these doctor visits where the father pulls out a medication list
happen “Whenever I'd visit him, whether in New York or Florida...” (p.
4) The word “dutifully”(in the last sentence) is revealing. I don't
know if it reveals Pearl's attitudes or his father's attitudes.
“Dutifully” implies that Pearl's father is keeping a list of his
medications as a duty rather than because he thinks it's important.
Having such a list is a good thing for a person's health and
well-being. It shouldn't be a duty to take care of one's own health;
it should be something people want to do.
“Dutifully” implies that Pearl's father is keeping the list because
his doctors want him to rather than because he wants to. This is a
part of the idea that patients obey doctors, as opposed to patients
hiring doctors to give them medical advice.