I would like to paint a picture of what your time with us will look like. Expectations not only help you know what to expect; they also serve as a benchmark for us to continually evaluate our care for you.
Scheduling your appointment
This process should be easy and straightforward. There is information that we need to collect before you see us, and hopefully this process is not too burdensome. I hate phone answering machines/trees that keep you on a rotating cycle of not talking to anyone. I have made it a priority to have someone answer the phone directly and speak with you. If you are placed on hold, I expect this to be for only a short time.
Arriving for your appointment
Your arrival into the office begins your in person interaction with us. I would love for you to enter into an empty waiting room and feel like you are our only patient. Obviously, it is not always possible to schedule office appointments this way, but I do intentionally block more of my schedule for each patient to try and achieve this sense of personalized attention. I do not like going to a doctor’s office and sitting in a crowded waiting room for an hour wondering if I have been forgotten about. With my surgical obligations, I can not always be perfect in this area, but it is something that I continually strive to improve.
This will be held in a private exam room and it will always be me seeing you. I do not pull the “bait and switch” and have another physician/PA/NP see you for your consultation. This is your time to explain to me what is going on. Your expectation should be that you are fully heard and understood. You should not feel rushed or blown off. This is your time…no one else’s. I will explain your condition with you and options for next steps – this will be in easy to understand conversation as well as drawings/props (I like to draw and use props for demonstrating things as you’ll see).
If surgery is needed, we will help you through this process in person. You will be able to sit down with a scheduler and find what time and place is best for you. We will make sure the location of the surgery as well as the anesthesia are in network for you and discuss any concerns you have.
This is where it gets real. Talking about surgery is one thing, but actually having it done is another. This can be quite scary – I completely understand this. I will always speak to you preoperatively. I will explain everything about the surgery and about what your time at home will look like. We can go through any concerns or additional questions you have. I like to offer to pray with my patients. Faith is a big part of who I am and my background. I believe that I am an instrument for the Lord. I work as hard as I possibly can to be the most prepared I can be to perform the technical aspects of the surgery, but I believe that God is the ultimate healer and is the one tasked with the physical healing part of the surgery. I have many people decline praying with me – that is perfectly fine! There is never any change in my care based on your decision in this regard. At the same time, many people of different faiths have found great comfort in praying with me, and thus this is something that I offer to everyone.
I do not want you to ever feel alone at home after the surgery. Always feel free to call with questions. You will also have a postoperative appointment to see me. Still no “bait and switch” – I will be the one to see you. Your postoperative visit is almost always covered under your payment for the surgery. You are not limited to one visit. I will see you as many times as we need to make sure everything is healing well.
I hope this gives you a sense of what to expect. Please always let us know where we can improve at any step of the way.
– Ramsey Stone