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Consultations with reps instead of doctors -- how do you feel about it?

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As I've been having consultations with clinics, I've noticed that I tend to talk to reps / technicians more than the actual doctors.

As a result, I tend to value clinics that have the surgeon conduct the consultation rather than a rep.

But, I'm wondering if my opinion may be too harsh.

Do any of you value a clinic more if a surgeon talks to you versus a rep?

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Good point to bring up.

I personally think that reps can answer most questions you have (think nurse or assistant in a hospital - you don't need to ask a doctor for everything). Most of these questions are generic (am I a good candidate, how many hairs do you think I need [ball-park], when are there openings in schedule). I think it is a sign of a good clinic when there are active reps to help since it shows an active participation and customer service. I've worked in fields where I wasn't the provider of a service, but I could answer all questions and give rough estimates of costs, parts, time etc. What I did was answer as many questions as I could before different (complex/specialty) questions were asked to the service provider.

That said: I would still want the doc to talk to me, even if they didn't have to. I also would only go to a clinic where if I asked the doc for 5 minutes of their time for a question I would get it. It makes you feel valued and special. It shows that, for the day of your procedure, your doc would treat you as the most important person for that time. If they can make 5-10 minutes for you to help put you at ease months out, they will help put you at ease the day of procedure.

 

TLDR: Reps are professionals with substantial knowledge who help as much as they can before doc-only questions are asked. Get a clinic whose doc can make 5 minutes for you for doc-only questions. Both are knowledgeable, but only one can give you definitive answers about your hair/HT.

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I definitely want to speak with the Dr who is going to be performing the procedure. It's fine to speak with a representative first to get some basic questions out of the way, but you should always be able to speak with the Dr. If you only speak with a rep then you run into the chance of designing a hairline and plan and number of grafts with the rep and then on the day of the surgery, the Dr doesn't agree with what has already been decided by you and the rep. What do you do then? Do you go with what the Dr thinks is best or do you try to get him to do something he doesn't agree with because you are there based on a plan that was agreed to? You may have chosen a different clinic if you knew the Dr wasn't going to do what was decided.

 

I think the ideal way to have a first consultation is having the rep see you first, then the Dr to discuss your specific hair case and plan, then the rep again to wrap it up with scheduling and final costs, etc afterwards.

 

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I definitely agree that if you do not get to meet the doctor then do not schedule any surgical procedure. I do have a patient coordinator that meets with the patients for just a few minutes to give some general information before I see the patient. I like to spend a lot of time listening to the patient and try to get a feeling of what is bothering them and what they are looking for. Making sure the patient has realistic expectations is very important. 

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It's also very important for the doctor or at least a licensed nurse to review the patient's medical history inclusive of all medications and supplements prior to scheduling the procedure.


Gillenator

Independent Patient Advocate

 

I am not a physician and not employed by any doctor/clinic. My opinions are not medical advice, but are my own views which you read at your own risk.

 

Supporting Physicians: Dr. Jim Harris, Denver, CO - Dr. Robert True & Dr. Robert Dorin, New York, NY

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