Doctors Quality of Care - Are You Getting it?

Most often people talk about health care providers when their experiences are poor. Thus it
is easy to get the impression, if you are new to having chronic illness, you are doomed to have ‘bad service.’ Don’t walk in with low expectations. This attitude is not only counter-productive but simply not true. There are many incredible providers out there. It is your job, as a consumer, and hopefully somewhat informed educated patient,  to find them.

It seems a bad experience with a doctor is always shared but a good experience is an assumption. We expect those that take the oath of serving in medicine to be doing it for the right reason and to approach the job the way we would like. Realistically, that is not the case. Everyone has encountered or heard stories. There are bad employees in every profession including the medical field. Seek out good health care providers if you get a rotten egg. This may mean you have to go through several to find the right one but, your body and you deserve the best!

Social media can be an asset. Patients are lax in taking the time to go online and take the various survey menus on their doctors.  This is important for those who want to screen new
potential providers. The more reviews, the more accurate the results.  If only bad reviews are given, the stats are skewed horribly. One person on a bad day with unreal expectations could unfairly jeopardize a great doctor’s rating for months.  Do due diligence, if your provider is worthy, take time and go online. Give them that consideration and help others out.  Plus, they deserve the referrals if they’re that good. 

It is not always necessary to share unpleasant experiences because yours could be isolated.
E.g. I had a mishap with a surgery causing 9 months of extensive issues.  I did not give out her name because several friends see this physician and have a high opinion of her. Why ruin their relationship because of my experience? It was a fluke mistake and doctors are human much as we like to think they are Godlike.

I compiled a list of a few at the base of this blog of doctors I either know or close friends have had firsthand experiences with that are exceptional. My goal was to get all of you to do the same. Create and share your lists and ask folks to save it on their computer. You never know when someone will ask you for a recommendation. Be prepared and help others get the excellent care they need giving options too.

Doctors should be cognizant of the fact you are a whole person and not just the malady you are being treated for which is old school approach to medicine.  Dr. Shannon Serie is an oncologist at Vanderbilt Medical Center. Her care is exceptional because she takes the time on the front end of treatment to address all questions and concerns her patients have. She is concerned about helping her patients understand that living healthy is removing as much of the toxicity from their life, not just the cancer cells.  She is known for her one-on-one connection with her patients which serves as a motivator to keep the patients positive and diligent in her recommendations.  She truly treats the whole person. 

Being technologically savvy is a big concern to many people in the course of their treatment. If you want this for your issues, do your research! Other doctors in your area are not always going to volunteer this information or refer you out of network or out of the area.  Many may not even know what is available or who is out there doing new work. E.g., Dr. Monsour is a urologist in Dayton, Ohio. What makes him a stand out is his work in treating prostate cancer. He is very proficient and has an established reputation of excellent work in both laser and robotic surgeries for this type of cancer. These surgeries reduce risks and recovery times.

Working with children takes a special talent. Listening to little ones with an inability to express their hurts and pains is innate. Dr. Nasser is a pediatrician who has that, and has been practicing with glowing reviews for years.  She is as devoted to her little patients as she is to their parents. She listens with a fine ear for details and has a history of dealing with children with complicated cases and handling them with ease. Having had some issues of her own, her compassion in health care is unsurpassed!

Many doctors are working with the knowledge base they learned in medical school. They take their required curriculum each year to stay current but have time for little else. Then there are other doctors working and trying to constantly break thru more discoveries to not only extend their patients’ lives but improve the quality of them.

If you have a type of cancer not as common, you want a doctor that is devoted, has a research drive in them, is proactive and cares deeply about you and the issues!  If it is endocrine cancer, look no further than Dr. Eric Liu. Based out of Denver, Colorado, he has been on the forefront of the field of endocrine cancer and will stay there.

Dr. Liu is on the board of NET, an organization solely devoted to these types of cancer. It is estimated more people actually have these types of cancers than are diagnosed. Many health care providers are not familiar enough with the signs to recognize its existence to test for it. The organization is constantly raising funds and awareness to combat this cancer and find a cure.

Finding health care providers you can understand the complex material being thrown at you easily is imperative. It does no good to see the best and not ‘get the message” especially if it is something as important as your heart. In Dayton, Ohio on the Board of the American Heart Association is a cardiologist named Dr. Harvey Hahn.  The affiliation of a doctor to a Board shows an added dedication to the cause.  Volunteering time to increase awareness, address questions and put attention towards proactive measures to decrease heart issues is commendable indeed of Dr. Hahn to his community.   

Dr. Hahn is part of Kettering Health Network and he makes himself relatable to his audience, and is, “down to earth.”  This is not the norm for cardiologists, as most of us know who have spoken with them for media work or health care issues.  I have to pat my ‘heart’ for a cardiologist that is devoted, exceptional at his job and compassionate towards helping every citizen understand this very serious medical condition. I also have to think his great results have something to do with his uncanny ability to communicate so effectively to his patients. Communication is key to being a great health care provider! 

Diversity in options is important too. Let’s face it; no one likes an arrogant doctor anymore. Bedside manner matters. Dr. Mike Glasmeier of Nashville’s First Impressions Family Dentistry was rated close to the top in the military during his residency in dentistry in customer service.

When he moved into private family practice, Dr. Glasmeier’s ratings did not change. He has done so well, he now operates two successful dental practices.  Whether he works on special needs children, a patient who needs sedation for dental work or cosmetic work, he treats each and every one the same. Furthermore, he always gives patients options when it comes to their teeth. This is important because money can be scare and patients can be afraid of dentistry. Health care providers must be cognizant of their patient’s financial and emotional needs. He and his practice are and demonstrate this. 

Remember your health care provider can’t give you good service if you haven’t defined what that is. Be realistic and clear as to what you expect before you go in. Did you know you can request an introduction interview with most providers?  Use it if you need to.  Write down your questions lest you forget them prior to a visit, at home, not in the waiting room where you are anxious. Don’t blame a provider for not answering your questions if you walked in unprepared. They sometimes are rushed. Other patients come in unexpected due to emergencies often not by their choice.

Consider looking at health care as a true partnership. If your doctor is not willing to do so and you are meeting them halfway, you probably need to find another one. No shame, no blame, just move on! Use the tools of social media, and get to work and get living!

Dr. Patty Ghory
Allergy & Asthma
Cincinnati Allergy & Asthma Center
Dr. Ann Ghory
Allergy & Asthma
Cincinnati Allergy & Asthma Center
Bernstein Allergy Group
Allergy & Asthma
Bernstein Allergy Group
Dr. Harvey Hahn
Southwest Cardiology Inc:
Laurie C Goerzen, NP
Vanderbilt Medical Center
Dr. Elizabeth Lindsey
TriStar Summit Medical Center
Dr. Mike Glasmeier
General Family Dentistry & Botox
First Impressions/Old Hickory Family Dentistry
Dr. Raymond Brewer
General Practitioner
TriStar Centennial
Dr. Maria Ysela Carrillo
General Surgery, Critical Care Surgery
Vanderbilt Medical Center
Dr. Eric Liu
NET Specialist &Surgeon
Neuroendocrine Center at Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers
Dr. Michael Kirkwood
Seven Hills Women's Health Center
Dr. Ellington
Women's Group of Franklin
Dr. Shannon Stinnett Serie
Vanderbilt Medical Center
Dr. Mark Kroll
formerly Vanderbilt, new location in Bowling Green, KY
Dr. Bruce Holaday
Commonwealth Orthopedic Centers
Dr. Wafa Nasser
Whole Child Pediatrics
Dr. Brian Tierny
Plastic Surgery
Tierny Plastic Surgery
Dr. Michael Baker
Advanced Foot & Ankle Center
Dr. Bonnie Slovis
Pulmonary Specialist
Vanderbilt Medical Center
Dr. Monsour
Dayton Physicians Urology
Dr. Peter Swarr
Internal Medicine & Pediatrics
Cool Springs Internal Medicine
Dr. Howard Mertz
Nashville Gastrointestinal Specialists