Paging Dr. Morgendorffer


Quinn sat there in her cap and gown listening to the speaker talk about how they started out as a larger group all those years ago. His delivery had ring of being the same one he delivered to each class. As the boredom overtook her, she looked down at her feet.


“Ms. Morgendorffer?”


Quinn looked up at the receptionist. “Yes?”


“They’re ready for you.”




Standing up, Quinn smoothed a wrinkle out of her skirt, took a deep breath and entered the room.


When she was inside she saw three people sitting behind a table with a single chair in front of them. The woman in the middle looked at a piece of paper on a clipboard then spoke.


“Hello Ms. Morgendorffer. Please sit down.”


Quinn went over and sat in the chair. It wasn’t too comfortable but Stan had warned her this was something they did on interviews sometimes as a test so she played it cool. After taking a second to adjust herself to something acceptable she didn’t move again.


The man on the right looked at a piece of paper, then looked at her and said, “You have good grades but not as high as some of the other applicants. Would you care to explain why?”


Swallowing, Quinn said, “I did have a little trouble with some of my non-science courses. I will admit a weakness in that area. English has always been a difficult subject for me.”


The woman on the other end looked at Quinn.


“Good communication skills are essential if you wish to be a doctor. Science is only a part of what you will do. You have to know many things if you wish to succeed in this or anything you do in life.”


Quinn bowed her head.


“I understand.”


The woman in the middle spoke again.


“As previously stated, there are several more applicants for our program with better grades than yours. While that is part of the qualifications we use to determine who will be accepted it’s not the only one. So tell us. Why do you want to be a doctor?”


Quinn smiled and began to relate how she spent her summers with Stan at the hospital learning what the doctors did, how she was impressed with the level of dedication they had to helping others, and how she discovered that she wanted to be a part of this field. When she finished she looked at all three interviewers. None had any expression on their faces. It seemed to Quinn they had heard the story many times before.


The man opened a folder and looked at her. “Ms. Morgendorffer. I have to say that is an interesting story. You must have definitely made an impact on those you worked with in Lawndale.” As he spoke he took several pieces of paper from the folder. “Usually a prospective student has one, possibly two, letters of recommendation from a doctor or mentor. In your case we have received eight letters from staff members at the hospital.”


Quinn couldn’t believe it. “You have?” she asked.


As he sorted through the pile of letters, he said, “Yes. Here’s a letter from a Dr. Willis, one from a Dr. Bert, and even one from the hospital administrator. We’ve never received one from an administrator before. We have to admit to being a little impressed.”


Smiling, Quinn relaxed slightly. This definitely made her feel better. She didn’t know her friends had done that for her. Sitting there, she suddenly felt that she could handle anything else they asked her.


The woman of the far end interrupted Quinn’s moment.


“We can see that you’re pleased. You should feel good about that. Now we just have a few more questions for you.”


The rest of the interview went well. They asked her many different things, some of which were medical related but many seemed to be focused to determine if she had the dedication to stay with the program. After several more minutes the interview was over. As Quinn stood up, the woman in the middle spoke.


“Thank you Ms. Morgendorffer. We’ll let you know our decision soon.”


Quinn said, “Thank you.” and left the room.


The applause snapped Quinn out of her dream, another speech down, one more to go. She saw the hospital administrator step up to the podium. As he began talking about what the future held for them and what their responsibilities were she glanced around the crowd trying to find her family. She eventually saw the faces of Daria, Stan, Jake, and Helen. When she found them, Helen smiled at her. Smiling back, Quinn remembered that day.


As all three sat in the living room, Helen asked, “So how is school going?”


“Fine.” Quinn said. “It’s tough but I’m enjoying it. It doesn’t leave much time for other things but I know it’s worth it.”


“We know you haven’t been home much since you started.” Jake said. “But we understand. It’s just nice to see you now.”


Quinn bowed her head.


“I wish Mom felt that way.”


Helen looked confused.


“What do you mean?”


Quinn sighed and said, “It’s just when I talk about school she asks me to stop. It seems like her stomach can’t handle it. I never thought she would be that way about this.”


Helen smiles at Quinn. She was quietly amused at what she heard. “I’m sure she’s not trying to hurt your feelings.” she said. “It’s just that people change.”


Looking at Helen, Quinn said, “I don’t understand.”


Turning to look at Jake, Helen asked him to get the box. Jake looked confused for a second then realized what she was referring to. After he left the room, Helen looked back at Quinn.


“When Daria was younger than you she had many different interests. We knew she would never be a doctor but she had an obsession with certain facets of medicine.’


“Like what?” Quinn asked.


Just then, Jake returned with a large cardboard box. As he set it down he looked at Helen.


“Well here it is. If you don’t mind I’d prefer not to see this.”


Helen nodded. She understood. It wasn’t something she was too thrilled at looking at either. After Jake left, Helen gestured to the box.


“This is what I’m talking about.”


Quinn leaned over and removed the lid. When she looked inside she couldn’t believe what she saw. Reaching in, she pulled out a replica of a diseased kidney. “Wow! This is amazing.” she said. “These are almost impossible to find and they are in great shape.” Looking up at Helen, she asked, “You mean Mom bought all of these?”


“With the help of my credit cards.” Helen said.


As she dug through the box, Quinn couldn’t believe all the items in there.


“What made her change so much?”


Smiling, Helen shrugged, “I guess time changed her attitude and desire to see that kind of stuff. There’s noting wrong with that. People’s interests change as they get older.”


Playing with a severed right arm, Quinn was so fascinated with her new toys she barely heard what Helen said.




“Yes Quinn?”


“Do you want to keep these or can I take them back to school with me? They would be invaluable for many of my classes.”


“I don’t mind but technically they belong to Daria.” Helen said. “You’ll have to ask her.”


Quinn put the arm down and looked at her grandma. “How do I do that?” she asked.


Helen smiled.


“Just ask. All she can do is say no. But I doubt she’ll refuse. I figure she’s completely forgotten about those things. She hasn’t asked about them in years.”


That afternoon, as she walked down the hallway, Daria heard noises coming from Quinn’s room. It sounded like Stan and Quinn were laughing. After knocking on the door, she heard Quinn’s voice.




“Quinn. It’s me. May I come in?”




When Daria opened the door she was in shock. Scattered all over the room were all those skulls and organs she had ordered when she was a kid.


“Where did you find those?”


Smiling, Quinn said, “Grandma gave them to me. She said they were yours.”


Daria nodded, “They were. I can’t believe she kept them.”


Stan spoke up, “I can’t believe you were holding out on me. I haven’t seen many of these since I was an intern. And you had a whole carton of these all the time.”


Interrupting, Quinn looked at Daria.


“Mom. Would you mind if I took these to school. These would be very useful.”


Daria wasn’t sure. “I don’t know.” she said. After thinking about it for a second she decided it would be okay if they didn’t all vanish at once. While she had forgotten about them she kind of wanted to keep them around now. She didn’t know why but she seemed to have more sentimental attachment than she would have figured.   “Well okay.” she said. “But you can’t take them all. Just take what you think you’ll need. Leave the rest in your closet for when you will need them later.”


“Thanks Mom.” Quinn said.


“You’re welcome.” After looking around the room, she looked at both of them, then said, “Now you two clean up this mess. And Quinn, hang up your coat.”


Fanny fatigue was setting in. As she adjusted herself in the seat Quinn caught the administrator talking about the late night study sessions. Slowly her mind drifted again.


All six people were sitting around the table. Alice looked over at Quinn.


“I’m sorry if you’re still having trouble understanding this but the exam is in four hours. We would all like to get a little rest so we don’t fall asleep during the test.”


As the others closed their books and gathered their belongings, Quinn was desperate. “Please. Let’s go over it one more time.” she begged.


“You know this stuff Quinn. You’ll do alright.” Rex said, “Just get some rest okay?”


After they all left, Quinn sat at the table looking at her notes. She wished they’d stayed a little while longer. As hard as she tried, it was difficult working alone.  Reluctantly, she reached over and dialed the number.


On the other end of the line the phone rang. Daria answered.




When she heard Quinn’s voice, Daria knew what she wanted. “One second.” she said. Rolling over, she nudged Stan awake.


“What is it?” he asked.


“It’s Quinn.” Daria said.


Taking the phone, Stan said, “Okay.”


Getting out of bed, he headed to the kitchen. These late night study sessions required at least one bottle of water. As he walked down the hall, he put the phone to his ear.


“Hey Quinn. What’s the problem?”


Once more, the applause roused her out of her dream. It was time for them to proceed to the podium to receive their diplomas. After accepting hers, Quinn walked back to her seat. Looking up at her family she noticed Daria had a smile on her face. This wasn’t any ordinary smile. This was one she had only seen a few times before. The last time she witnessed it was the day she signed the adoption papers. Again, her mind drifted back.


She was sitting at the kitchen table. Daria was across from her. Taking a sip of coffee, Quinn shook her head.


“I just don’t know how much more I can take. It’s so rough. They keep us up for days at a stretch and the routine is non-stop. I want to stick with it but there’s one more year of this. I’m afraid I’ll crack before it’s done.”


Daria put her cup down and looked her daughter in the eyes.


“Don’t EVER say that again. Quinn, you’re a strong, smart young woman. You have the ability to do whatever you want. I know you can finish this. It’s only another year then you will be the doctor you have dreamed of becoming for years. I can’t say I know exactly what you are experiencing but I do know you can handle this.”


Quinn smiled and reached out to take Daria’s hand.


“Thanks Mom. Of course I’ll stay with it. It’s just that sometimes I don’t even remember why I started this. I know it will be over some day but I just need some encouragement from time to time.”


“Well if you ever need a pep talk, call Stan, but if you need to vent call me.” Daria said. “We’re both here for you. You can count on that.”


Quinn smiled and said, “Thanks.”




The ceremony was soon over. As the new doctors were dismissed Quinn soon found her family. After all the hugs were done Daria spoke up.


“We’re all so proud of you Quinn. We knew you would do it.”


Quinn looked at all four of them.


“Well I couldn’t have done it alone. Thank you.”


The End


As usual, Daria belongs to MTV. This was written for my own amusement.