The best medicine
Celebrating 'World Smile Day'
Why did the cookie go to the doctor? He felt a little crummy.
Why is diarrhea inherited? It runs in the jeans.
When it comes to jokes, Eric Hopkins’, M.D., has got a million of ‘em. As his patients in his Grapevine office can tell you. He is always prepared with a joke as he walks into a patient’s room. So, it only makes sense that we celebrate “World Smile Day” with one of our funniest doctors.
“The kids love it. I’ll walk in the room and the kids, sometimes the parents too, will say, ‘Time for the joke of the day.’” Dr. Hopkins said. “We all enjoy laughter. It makes you happy and makes you feel better.”
There’s a method to Dr. Hopkins’ particular brand of comedy. Kids go to the doctor and they are nervous. He hopes to ease a children’s mind and stress level when they go see him. Then next time that mom and dad say it’s time to go to the doctor, they may actually look forward to it. At least, more than if they weren’t guaranteed a joke or two.
Of course, every good comedian knows how to read the room and Dr. Hopkins is no exception. If the situation is serious, he’s not going to walk into the room and begin cracking wise.
He also knows when to quit. If a too-cool-for-school teen doesn’t laugh, Dr. Hopkins will move on. Ok, he may give it a second or third chance to make the teen at least crack a smile. And he’s not opposed to acting out the joke or using funny accents. Whatever it takes. But then, he moves on.
However, there have been times where a situation that seemed grim was made light. He recently met with a kid who was going through a rough time emotionally. By the end of the session, she was laughing and giving Dr. Hopkins a hug of thanks.
Dr. Hopkins gets his jokes from a stack of joke books and now from parents and kids telling him their jokes. He said recently a child told him he’d been coming to see him too long because he knew the punchlines.
“I’ve always loved jokes,” Dr. Hopkins said. “I think laughter inspires you. You feed off it. It might change a child’s mind who otherwise wouldn’t want to go to the doctor. It opens the door for those children and they may even be a happy to come. Laughter offers a balance in a place where we may see a lot of illness and at times even sadness.”
And that’s no joke.
But this is:
What kind of illness do martial artists get? Kung Flu!!
Dr. Hopkins grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. He joined Cook Children's Physician Network in 2002 and has been practicing at the Grapevine primary care office ever since. He is board-certified and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Hopkins lives with his wife and two children in Plano, where he is active in their academic and athletic pursuits.