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A Magical Moment for Urgent Care Patients

Written by Adam Zewe

Patients in the Urgent Care Clinic crane their necks for a closer look at the delicate procedure. They burst into applause as magician Bill Gross removes a coin from a patient's sleeve. Gross spent the morning of July 22 performing magic tricks in the waiting room.

The magician shuffles a deck of playing cards while he tells jokes to waiting patients. After borrowing a dollar from patient Phillip Corso, Gross uses a few deft movements to fold and unfold the bill. He holds up the unfolded dollar, which has now become a $100 bill. "Let me take a closer look at that," laughs Corso, of Sykesville. The magician explains how he carefully folded the bills together to complete the trick.

Laughter fills the waiting room as several dentists and assistants come to see what the commotion is about. Gross borrows a ring from one assistant and teaches the crowd to make it disappear. It's interesting to see the method behind the trick, says patient Barbara Bessalel, of Towson. "I never expected to see a magician in this clinic, but I'm very impressed by him," she states. Charles Strader, of Rosedale, agrees that watching a magic show in a dental clinic is a pleasant surprise. "For people in pain, this helps to take our mind off of it and pass the time," he explains.

Dr. Joseph Davidson, assistant professor in the Department of Oncology and Diagnostic Sciences, sponsored the entertainment to bring some cheer to the waiting room. He funded a musical performance in May and plans to provide at least two more performances this year. It's his way of bringing a smile to people who are in pain, he says. "Everybody, young and old, rich and poor, likes magicians. A few magic tricks get their minds off why they're here," Dr. Davidson concludes.

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