By Shelby Pendowski, Enterprise intern
First-timers seeking medical treatment from a physician at the Evergreen Center in Suttons Bay sometimes ask for a Dr. Miracle, Dr. Magic or Dr. Mystery.
Those that work there know visitors are looking for Dr. Jimmy Mistry.
“Mistry means mason, a builder. But there is nothing mysterious about me,” said the holistic and homeopathic obstetrician and gynecologist. He’s been practicing medicine for more than five decades. “There is nothing miraculous, life itself is just miraculous.”
There is a saying in the medical field that Mistry follows — “First do no harm, after that do what you can to help the person.”
Helping doesn’t always mean prescribing medicine or diagnosing, but sometimes it means to just sit, listen and pray, he said.
“He gets choked up because medicine is his life,” said Mistry’s wife, Nancy, who also works at the medical office. “When we came here it is just wonderful because every patient he spends an hour with, so he doesn’t have that time constraint of having to rush to labor and delivery or surgery.”
While many people may not remember his name, Dr. Mistry has delivered about 13,500 people into the world.
“I just always wanted to be a doctor, I don’t know why,” said Mistry, who grew up in Bombay but has been practicing in Leelanau County for the past 10 years.
“I was born in the same place as Engelbert Humperdinck, Juliet Prowse and Rudyard Kipling,” Mistry boasts.
Mistry attended Bombay University where he received bachelor of medicine and bachelor in surgery degrees, and later on his medical degree. After graduating, the doctor spent three years in the U.K. studying, researching and working.
“We had three centuries of British rule, so we always went to Britain to polish off our career,” Mistry said. “When I was in Britain I used to teach the nurses and medical students, just as I did when I was in Bombay. I did everything you could possibly do in Britain and Scotland and I practiced there from 1957-60.”
While in England, he earned his board certification. Mistry is board certified in India, the United States, Great Britain and Scotland.
“I had choice into going into various specialties because I stood first in the university in my graduating class,” Mistry said. “I wanted to practice surgery and medicine and take care of babies, everything at the same time.”
That led to his choice to become an obstetrician and a gynecologist. The two medical avenues allowed him to pursue his three medical interests.
“It was a speciality that allowed me to practice everything I knew,” he said.
One day during his residency he decided to become a holistic doctor.
As the residents were doing their rounds, they approached a sick woman. She was pale and covered in boils.
“What is wrong with her?” Mistry asked.
His peers informed him that they didn’t think she would make it through the night, but that answer didn’t satisfy the young doctor. After a private consultation with the patient, he gave her a homeopathic pill and remedy. He left the hospital that night expecting to write a death report in the morning, but as he made his rounds the next day he was taken by surprise.
“The patient was sitting up and smiling and saying ‘I want to go home.’” Mistry explained. “That just knocked me off my feet.”
Another life-changing moment really hit home. It was when one of his five sons experienced a deathly illness. With fevers of 104 degrees, rashes and skin peeling, Mistry feared the worst.
“I used to get terrified. I took him to all the doctors in Ohio and Michigan and then with a homeopathic physician we decided to give him a homeopathic remedy,” Mistry said. “One dose and he never had it again. And after that I was a complete believer.
“My belief is if it works, I will use it.”
Mistry said he doesn’t need to know why.
“We don’t know, only the Creator knows the created,” he said. “Nobody knows the human body as much as whoever created it, so we are all just playing with it.
“Every 30 years medicine changes; everything we did 30 years ago is oldfashioned nothing.”
In his practice, Mistry said he doesn’t sit behind a computer screen or the latest technology gadgets. Rather he sits and speaks with patients.
“Everybody just wants the old-fashion doctor that almost used to be apart of the family,” he said.
Mistry oftentimes will see patients at their homes, after office hours or on the weekends.
Although medicine and his family are his top passions, fishing isn’t far behind.
In India, fishing as a profession ranks at the bottom of the Hindu caste system. But it has been one of Mistry’s favorite activities for the past 40 years.
“In India they don’t fish, not as a sport. It is for a lower class. If you are a fisherman you are at the bottom of the caste system … but I always wanted to fish,” Mistry said. “I am very fond of fishing, I always have been.”
Just by walking into Dr. Mistry’s office, one can also infer he loves books.
“I am addicted to books, but only certain kinds of books. Books of medicine and healing and books of fishing and nature and a little bit of poetry,” he said.
After more then 50 years in practice, Mistry can recite numerous tales, lessons and experiences he has been through. One lesson, is that there is more to being a doctor than memorizing textbooks and journals.
“I believe that God, or whatever you believe in, works through people, through everything,” Mistry said. “You don’t heal them, the patient heals themselves through the power of the super conscious that bestows the health on the person. The physician is just an instrument.”