Things are happening even when you are not here! We pride ourselves on taking the time to make careful evaluations of each patient's case. This often takes place after an initial clinic visit. While our extensive experience often allows for an immediate diagnosis after obtaining a history, physical examination and review of medical imaging, often times, patients' problems are not immediately apparent and further measurements, study and discussion is required. We use a multidisciplinary spine conference to bring together colleagues with different perspectives on how to care for various spinal conditions. Drawing upon decades of experience and dozens of respected colleagues with sound judgement allows us to narrow down the list of diagnostic possibilities. Many patients ask in an exasperated manner "why don't my doctors talk to each other!" We agree and feel that phone calls, texts and emails with other physicians often allow for subtle findings to be identified and analyzed. This process takes time and cannot be rushed, much like other artisanal crafts.
Data is good: bring everything
Many physicians are forced to rush clinical visits and strongly prefer to minimize time spent between office visits. This leads them to not want to review old films, operative notes, records etc. While we cannot say that everything is useful or even relevant, we would rather look at as much as possible. We NEVER discourage patients from bringing in old medical imaging/records and make a good faith effort to discern bits of useful information from these documents. We love questions and feel that an educated and involved patient will make the best decisions for their healthcare. Sometimes one can't figure out why previous surgeries didn't work or were even attempted until we understand what the previous physicians were looking at.