I’m just not cut out for the corporate world;
I guess I’ll happily stick to being a doctor in the suburbs of Chicago that offers comfortable/safe/effective/affortable varicose and spider vein treatment. It’s not about aptitude [I think I could hang]…it’s about the language. Some of it is so cold and impersonal…and that’s about as far away from me as planet Earth is to the space probe that just reached Pluto.
The corporate-speak phrase that eats away at my soul and makes my pancreas twitch every single time I read it in an email is “Please Advise”. It started off being a rare nuissance…but I’m seeing it more and more and it’s annoying.
It’s never written with the sentiment: “Hey buddy! I SO value your opinion on this matter and can’t WAIT to hear how you would like to manage this situation! Lemme know soon!”
Instead it’s got the feel of The Borg from Star Trek
showing up at your door with an ultimatum to “capitulate or die;
which way you are leaning in the next 5 seconds or we’ll make the decision for you.”
I just don’t get what compels people to put on a such a “cold prickly” game-face when it comes to dealing with others…regarding business or otherwise.
Yes, there are unpleasant matters that we are sometimes obligated to communicate. I’m well aware of that given the times, during my days in the world of Emergency Medicine, that I had to communicate the absolute WORST info to others regarding loved ones, children included, who succumbed to their illnesses or trauma.
Even in those situations, you are given a choice as to how to communicate. You can coldly state the facts and walk out the door…OR…you can think of how the words that leave your mouth may impact the listeners…stick around to answer questions….give reassurance…just BE there…be real, but be kind.
Communication is the source and the solution to problems as hyperlocal as our homes…to global issues.
There’s an entire department of our government devoted to using communication to fix things: The State Department. It’s filled with people called Diplomats. Diplomacy doesn’t mean trickery…there’s other departments for that stuff…it means using tactful speech to smooth ruffles.
Guess what? You might not have realized it, but you’re a diplomat,too. We all are. As soon as we were able to communicate our wishes to others…maybe a few seconds after birth…diplomacy started. At first it was about Baby You screaming to mom for food/burp/diaper change/cuddle. The more our communication skills developed, the more sophisticated the diplomacy.
I’m all about trying to fix things…that’s why most docs devote a chunk of their life to medicine. The science of medicine involves asking patients the right questions and interpreting their answers. The art of medicine involves understanding the importance of the unstated…using empathy to read between lines.
I believe the Please Advise phenomenon is fixable. The solution is really simple in theory but might be hard to implement. I think what the people (cyborgs?) who put Please Advise in emails are really trying to say is that they need help with a matter. BUT…many people….all of us at some time or another, if we’re going to keep this real…have a hard time asking for help.
I see this all the time regarding chronic vein disease. Many patients put off asking for help with symptomatic varicose veins and spider veins for years. They suffer needlessly with chronic discomfort…feelings of heaviness, tiredness, ache…swelling, cramps, restless legs…not to mention worsening surface bulging veins and bothersome spider veins. Many patients begin to avoid doing things that they previously loved to do…swim…play sports…intimacy…because of apprehension with wearing shorts, swimsuits, etc.
Regarding many of my potential patients…maybe you?…it isn’t about an inability to ask for help. Rather its most often about a lack of information regarding the state-of-the-art care that’s available.
It used to be true that treating vein disease was a hassle. Surgical treatments for venous insufficiency were the only option. Nowadays treatments that I offer patients are comfortable, safe, effective, affordable and hassle-free. Let’s take each aspect independently:
Treatments such as Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) require no sedation; local anesthetic is the only thing needed to treat incompetent saphenous veins internally…without requiring stripping! The use of a bit of local anesthetic to start and IV and then tumescent local anesthesia placed around the treated vein are, ironically, the only parts of the procedure with any discomfort. A newer treatment called Clarivein® requires only minimal local anesthetic just to start an IV. Post-procedure discomfort with either EVLA or Clarivein® is minimal. No opiod analgesics are required; just naproxen (essentially rx-strength Alleve®)
Every procedure I do is performed in my comfortable office setting. Risks are all minimal due to the minimally-invasive techniques that are performed with ultrasound-guidance (when required). No general anesthesia or local sedation is ever required. These are things that are done with patients laying down, listening to music and chatting with me.
Once we have taken the time to make a diagnosis; plan out an appropriate, tailored treatment regimen and obtain insurance coverage (when available)…we then embark on the treatment course. Depending on the extent of a patient’s disease…more extensive requiring more treatments/time…the length of the course may vary. From the standpoint of symptom-relief…we can often see mitigation of symptoms within weeks after treatments. Cosmetic improvement comes with time; typically within 6 weeks, sometimes longer…again depending on the extent of a patient’s disease. Want to see some amazing results?
One of the biggest surprises for patients is that insurance carriers and Medicare may cover many treatments that we offer. As you’d expect, coverage depends on the extent of a patient’s disease and the particulars in their insurance policy. In addition, when coverage is possible it can often take time to get approved (typically 8 weeks for Medicare, Blue Cross; 14 weeks for Aetna, United Healthcare, others). Approval times vary, but the take-home point is that the sooner you come in to get evaluated…the sooner we can get an approval (when possible)…and the sooner we can get started getting things better! For those without insurance, I don’t turn anyone away; we can work out a payment plan…let’s figure out how to get you better first, and then we’ll figure the financials out; it’s doable.
None of the procedures I do have any down-time. You actually need to be active afterwards to stay safe. You can drive yourself to appointments and drive yourself home. You can go straight back to work…um, unless you are a pilot/flight attendant/astronaut/professional swimmer. Other than that you should be fine! We already talked about minimal discomfort during and after procedures. Compression stockings are required after treatments; but we make sure you get ones that fit well and do our best to make wearing them as hassle-free as possible. Procedures typically take anywhere from15-30 minutes to 90 minutes…which means these are things you can do on a lunch-break.
1. The phrase, “Please Advise”, makes my pancreas twitch.
I try my best to treat people I encounter with the warmth and kindness I would want to be treated. Let’s try to rid the world of this evil verbal infection. The cure? Let’s substitute with the phrase “Please Help”!
2. If you’ve been waiting for help with your vein-related issues, you’ve waited until the right time, technology-wise…but no need to wait any longer!
3. Communication is the source…and solution…to most of our troubles.
In my practice, I create a team-approach with patients regarding their care. I listen to them about symptoms…about esthetic concerns….about overall goals they have and the timeframe they want to achieve them…and then I help align those concerns and goals with the realities involved with vein care: realities of what can be achieved for symptom relief, esthetic improvement…and financial matters. Open, frank, REAL discussions.
If you are ready to take the next step towards legs that feel and look better than they have in years, I’m ready to advise you…but I’m even happier to HELP you!
Just call 847-272-8346 to schedule a consultaion appointment with me. You can also click the button below and my assistant, Maria, will be happy to get you on schedule.
See you soon!
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