Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Deuk Spine Institute

Canadians are familiar with anecdotal comparisons of their publicly funded health care and the privately funded model in the United States of America. To the uninitiated the legal distinctions of the two systems are fatiguing. However for the patient what ultimately counts is the simple matter of service. The statutory debate side-lines the heady constitutional issues of funding, universality, cost, co-insurance and inequality and instead focuses upon the less abstract and more pressing pragmatic topic of service - promptness and professional standards.

I am not about to weigh in upon a comparison of either promptness or professional standards, first because I haven't anything other than informal and unscientific knowledge by which to assess them; and second because I am wary of applying wildly general observations to disciplined specific circumstances such as are routinely encountered in medical cases.  As well there is the threat of failing to factor into the comparative evaluation the very real possibility of serendipity in execution of one model or the other.

What I can provide is a bald account of my own experience.  Let me begin by saying that in 2007 when I went for a straightforward check-up at the Ottawa Heart Institute, the very next day I underwent complicated emergency open-heart surgery. My family physician afterwards commented, "We didn't think you'd make it off the table!"  All this is to say that over a decade later I am clearly indebted to my Canadian surgeon and the Ontario health care system that facilitated my recuperation.

We all know one's health begins to decline with age.  In addition many older people like myself begin spending time in the winter in the southern states of America. As I have so often observed, "There ain't no ship to take you away from yourself!"  For purposes of this account the direct import of that qualification is that no matter how warm the weather, when travelling you still take with you your physical ailments and limitations. We are effectively haunted by our lingering medical conditions. The popular American television media constantly run advertisements addressing endless medical concerns.  It is impossible not to be curious about some of the claims being made especially if you imagine you might be a candidate for improvement.  As a result of an advertisement about laser spine surgery I succumbed to make an enquiry. Here is my report of that investigation. My purpose is first to compliment the team I dealt with; and second to relate to like-minded Canadians what is often a simmering inquisitiveness.

Though I cannot recall precisely how it transpired, I believe the sequence which set my query in motion was one of those television advertisements. That in turn led to me making a more exact investigation on the internet.  I found the Deuk Spine Institute. The web site was helpful. I began by sending an email to the Deuk Spine Institute.  I received a telephone reply within 24 hours and was booked for an intial appointment less than one week hence. I was informed of the cost of the initial appointment ($331). Within days of making the appointment I received a "new patient package" in the mail.  I completed that for delivery at the first meeting.

Two days prior to the first meeting I received a text message as a reminder.  On the morning of the appointment I received a further personalized telephone reminder. Though the distance to the clinic in Melbourne, FL was an easy one-hour drive from Daytona Beach Shores, FL, part of the reason I had chosen to go to the clinic in Melbourne is that I knew from having toured A1A along the Atlantic Ocean coast that Melbourne was not a huge urban centre such as Orlando or Miami.  Being from a small rural community, I had a preference for a more tranquil environment.  What I saw of the clinic on the internet confirmed what I was looking for. In case it matters for foreign travellers Orlando and Daytona Beach airports are relatively nearby.

Upon arriving at the clinic I was not disappointed.  The clinic is located in a desirable executive park, well-maintained and manicured, with ample and convenient parking, easily accessible from Interstate 95 (main thoroughfare) and there are standard hotels nearby. I was greeted warmly at the reception desk where I "signed in" and paid for the initial consultation.  At precisely 1:00 pm (my scheduled appointment time) I was taken to an interview room where a technician asked a number of pertinent questions concerning the specifics of my chronic back pain. He was then joined by a young physician who completed a thorough topical examination. I was told that in deference to my expressed wish to gather as much intelligence as possible concerning my aches and pains to afford a complete assessment of my condition, they could arrange that afternoon for an electromyography (EMG), X-ray and  magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).  The cost was $72, $658 and $328 respectively. Over the next 4 hours I met with 3 technicians and 2 physicians who variously poked, probed and prodded me. There was never more than a few minutes lapse between any one of the procedures. An appointment was set a fortnight hence for me to meet with the surgeon to review his assessment of the diagnostic results.

Without exception each of the technicians and physicians with whom I met (as well as the 2 reception, booking and payment clerks) were affable, diligent and helpful. Having a seasoned acquaintance with medical staff and physicians I can report with some authority that they each resonated commitment and assiduity to the task at hand. Though it is impossible accurately to guage the thoroughness of an esoteric profession, as a mere consumer of the retail goods I can report complete satisfaction. Notwithstanding what the surgeon may eventually glean from the diagnostic and other investigative reports I can at the very least say how delighted I am to have what I believe to be a timely, informed and valuable opinion.

Electromyography (EMG) is a diagnostic procedure to assess the health of muscles and the nerve cells that control them (motor neurons). Motor neurons transmit electrical signals that cause muscles to contract. ... An EMG uses tiny devices called electrodes to transmit or detect electrical signals.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive medical test that physicians use to diagnose medical conditions. MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal body structures.

Ara J. Deukmedjian, MD
Millennium Medical Management
Deuk Spine Institute
Viera Clinic and Surgery Center of Viera
7955 Spyglass Hill Rd, Suite A
Melbourne, FL 32940-8563
(321) 255-6670
Fax:  (321) 775-1363

“Patients receiving treatment at our new facility will enjoy the same high-quality care and successful treatments they are accustomed to in a more efficient and patient-centered environment. We will be able to provide all aspects of treatment for spinal and orthopedic conditions including diagnostic testing, clinical care and surgery all within one central convenient location,” Deukmedjian said (2014).

No comments:

Post a Comment