The patient stood on the Fairbanks scale in the D.C. General Hospital employe clinic, still wearing his gray vested suit and highly polished black shoes.
"Two-o-one, with your colthes on," nurse Grace Zagami pronounced.
"About 6 or 7 pounds over where I want to be," said the patient, who is 42 years old and stands 6 feet 1 -- without the shoes.
"Well," said Zagami, "it's late in the day.'
"Solid!" said Mayor Marion Barry, as he grinned broadly and stepped off the scale.
Barry went to D.C. General yesterday for a physical examination -- a visit his transition task force had called a "high priority" to inspire confidence in the city's troubled public hospital.
The mayor said he has "two or private physicians and is examined about three times a year. He went to D.C. General for yet another physical because, Barry said, "I believe it's important for public officials to do what they say they believe in."
"If I don't think enough of it to come out here, then what do you think about my telling others to come here?" asked Barry, as nurse Zagami searched his right forearm for a vein from which to draw blood.
When she found one, Barry winced as she jabbed his arm with a hypodermic needle, taking blood for a complete series of tests. The hospital s report on the state of the mayoral blood is expected soon.
Barry -- with a pulse of 80 after a walking tour of the hospital and normal-range blood pressure of 140 over 86 -- said he passed the hour-long physical with flying colors, and Dr. Tazwell Banks, a staff cardiologist at D.C. General, agreed.
The mayor allowed he could "stand to lose 10 pounds, but I knew that before I came down here."
Before taking the physical exam, the mayor toured the hospital, including the emergency room waiting area, numerous hallways, and the soon-to-be opened outpatient obstetrical unit.
D.C. General recently regained the accreditation it lost in 1975, and is currently under a federal court order to supply medical care up to standards in the community.
The mayor, who arrived at the hospital by limousine with his bodyguard and press secretary, was told during a meeting with 14 members of the hospital's executive staff that D.C. General officials hope to revamp completely the hospital's emergency room. The emergency room serves about 97,000 patients a year, some of whom wait up to five hours for care.
Current plans call for establishing a separate outpatient clinic within the emergency room area. About 80 percent of the people using the present emergency room are using it in place of a family physician for nonemergency matters, according to hospital officials.
The hospital also plans to hire a director of ambulatory (walk-in) care, something it does not now have.
"Approximately 35 percent of our patients have Medicaid or are Medicaid eligible," said executive director Robert Johnson in response to a question from the mayor. The hospital has been repeatedly criticized for its past inability to identify patients who are eligible for Medicaid benefits and to collect money owed for their care.
Barry said he was "impressed" by the hospital's plans for the future, but wants to return to D.C. General to speak at length with its directors about the hospital's future role in the city's health care system.