AJ 47 said...
First, the sad reality: This is a business, a PR campaign and believe me when I tell you that the docs look for posts like this knowing they have patients coming their way. So let's not fool ourselves. They have TV interviews, Facebook, Twitter and all the rest because they know that 1 in 6 men will have the disease, and thus they have a pretty good chance of catching a few. Sorry, but it's a fact. I can even say that my experience involved some hype, some lunches, a concierge, and everything else to make me comfortable but yet positioned for me to tell the next guy what to do. So when Menon is mentioned or Samadi is mentioned, they know and hope it will bring them clients. And it's partly because the equipment is so expensive. So, as impressive as it may be to get the return call the next day after an internet intake inquiry, it's business. Pure and simple.
Now, with that being said, each patient will assess the doctor's disposition and reach their own conclusions as to the best "fit." I for one would never use Samadi just because he's not a good fit for my personaility. Yes, Menon this, Woods that, Tewari that, Carter this, Catalona that, Hu this, and all of those aces I missed, but we all make our decisions based on our circumstances, locale, and, yes, recommendations by friends and statements on listservs. Believe me, before I made my decision, I Googled "who is the best prostate surgeon in the world." Or, "who's done the most robotic RP in the world." It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what makes people choose or at least interview docs.
I make no bones about posting a particular doc's interview on TV. We're all grown ups and to think that one person's kudos is going to make someone decide to us the doctor demeans the intelligence of those who are here looking for information and by now know that even the best surgeon can't dictate the outcome of this strange disease. So, closing the dialogue by a "shut down" (with people asking it be done), while a threat, should be tempered by an admonishment that "to each his own" and "educate yourselfs."
This wasn't about
Samadi. Like you said, any simple query will return results for "elite" surgeons and he's up there. This was about
the importance of PSA screenings and how the landscape has changed because of them and early testing. Something I am grateful for. Would have hated to find out at 50 what I found out at 40 if I indeed had it for 10 years already.
The PR issue related to this field ( and all other medical fields for that matter) is a topic which I find tobe very interesting. For some reason it doesn't take off as a topic of discussion however.
These guys have already made enough money to live multiple lives as millionaires. I do not believe it is about
the money for any of them. I know that in Samadi's case the guy had a tremendous amount of compassion and empathy for me and other patients of his I have talked with .I was warned by some urologists that choosing a surgeon and not a urologist would mean being forgotten about
once the surgery was completed. That was hardly the case for me and I doubt it's the case for any of you that have also chosen surgery.
I'd also guess that the PR and advertising are not driven by the surgeon per se but by the hospitals and centers of excellence they work for. And let's face it, they might be making a profit, but they're saving lives and educating people in the process.
PR is a part of it. There's no way around it anymore. It's a sign of the times and I understand it rubs some the wrong way. I personally think it's great. Here are some examples of PR in this field alone:www.slideshare.net/floridahospital/marketing-your-robotic-surgery-program-on-the-web
Below is a very interesting articlerccancercenters.com/archives/2402
Drive down a highway in Floria and you'll see dozens of billboards advertising services for prostate cancer.
I turn on CBS radio every morning to hear the traffic report and I always catch a few commercials advertising services for various pc related services.
Even my local urologists who don't have enough traffic too specialize only in one field (prostate cancer) have all kinds of literature in the form of brochures and pamphlets selling their services. They also have websites advertising their services but don't have top notch social media monitoring and registration services behind them. They will soon, however.
By the way, mine wasn't an intake form from a website. I called up directly and spoke to the office manager because I wanted him, and my insurance didn't cover him. I was told that he doesn't turn people away just because of that and that he would never turn away someone with cancer. I ended up paying a fraction of the cost. That was really telling for me. I hope you can appreciate that. I've experienced that a few other times with medical professionals, but it didn't involve surgery. I've also been sent packing a bunch of times because my insurance didn't cover them. In fact, my children lost their doctors when the practice dropped our insurance.
I don't think anyone is trying to convince anyone to use a particular doctor. I think as someone who has experienced the process I would tell anyone to get their PSA screened f they're over 40, have a biopsy if it's high and they don't have an existing baseline to compare it to, and when they choose treatment, whether surgery or radiation, to pick someone who is really really good because experience does matter.
You chose Menon, didn't some of these reasons help you make your choice?