On the Saturday afternoon before Christmas I received a phone call from my surgeon! I have not met Dr Smith and this was the first time we talked to each other. I had, however heard a lot about him from the other workers in the hospital during my various visits.
I think I surprised him when I greeted him like an old friend. He said, “Hello David, This is Dr Paul Smith. I am the neurosurgeon who will be doing your surgery.”
I said, “Good afternoon, Sir! How are you?”
I could hear his smile as he replied, “I’m good. I don’t believe we have met. You seem to know me!”
I laughed. “Well, no, we’ve never met but I have learned your name and heard a lot about you from the other fine people at St Vincents.”
“I see. Well, I just wanted to call and talk to you.”
And we talked! Dr Paul Smith came across as very professional, helpful and friendly. He let me know that I am approaching the top of his surgery list. He asked if I would be able to meet a mid-January surgery date. I assured him I would.
Dr Smith asked a lot of questions about my symptoms and allowed me to ask questions as well. One thing he said, which I actually appreciated greatly, was that this is a very serious surgery. I don’t know why but it was comforting to hear my surgeon say this. I guess it let me know that He is confident, qualified for the task and will give me the very best care possible. He talked me through the risks (“although unlikely David, it’s still important that you are fully aware”) which include hearing loss, facial paralysis, and death. He explained that all surgeries of this magnitude include a risk of death however slight.
After quite a lengthy chat, he said the hospital would contact me with a date. Now that he has talked to me, he will talk to them. And they will call me.
So, once New Years Day passes, I’ll be expecting a call from my friendly first-name crew at St Vincents Hospital. Did I mention how reassuring it was that Dr Smith didn’t introduce himself, “Hey, it’s Paul, the guy whose gonna rid ya of that tumour!” but rather as “Dr Paul Smith, the neurosurgeon.” After getting off the phone I commented to Jenny, “It’s nice to know he takes his job seriously!”
You can check out Dr Paul Smith and his creds at http://www.paulsmithneurosurgeon.com.au