About 15 years ago after my father retired from the NYC fire department I caught him about to toss his badge away. Being the emotional sentimental being that I am, I asked my father if I could hold on to it instead. Ever since I have kept it tucked away in my box of "stuff". Two years ago I thought this would be a unique card protector and have used it ever since. From time to time it sparks interesting conversation...and of course I always get confused for a fire fighter. When I inform people it was my father's badge alot of the time I get thanks and apologies for my loss. My father is alive and well in his 70's. He is just not much of a man of sentiment. I took on that role in the family.
It is rare while I play that I bring my profession up. I have picked up a few patients here and there from the poker room but usually I prefer nobody knows that I am a physician. I am genuine and friendly at the table and occasionaly I am asked what I do for a living. Typically I have no issues disclosing my profession. At times I regret it, as it can lead to a barrage of medical questions. Not only am I off duty and rather not be discussing medicine but these in depth conversations can distract me from my game. Furthermore I have little interest in soliciting patients for my primary care practice...mainly because I do not enjoy general medicine very much and it is not very profitable. Weight management and wound care are both infinitely more fun and profitable. So I am considering switching my card protector to solicit patients when it looks as if my poker game is not panning out a profit. I will let you know how it works!