Speaking the Medical Speicialists Language 

This is an addition to a similar consultation in the Primary Care Physician section so I wont go into the introductory details, but I will discuss some of the specialty nuances for sound biting with the medical specialist.  Generally speaking the medical specialist uses an ABBREVIATED SOUND BYTE to communicate.This is hard to get used to, but they are generally highly intelligent, can smell bullshit from a light year away and are typically inpatient (mostly because of their work schedule).So when you communicate with them it is generally about patient care and that is it.  I have specialists that I have personal relationships with and even though we communicate on a personal level, it is still in sound bytes.I am generally the one that keeps the conversation going.It is funny but I make sure when we go to dinner or a hockey game that I have a bunch of topics pre-loaded in my head to discus with them.The conversation will flow but whenever there is a lullI can bring up one of these topics.An example would be “tell me about the medication that you uses in a facet block” or “do you ever run into a situation where the patient was on the able for a single level fusion and once you were in there you realized they needed a double level?” 

Everyone likes to teak and talk about themselves!  One other pointer, when you are calling a spine surgeon in particular, make sure you let them know if it is administrative OR clinical.I had a new associate that called the surgeon we refer to, to discuss a disability rating on a patient out on workers’ compensation.Our office had listed 100% while the surgeons Physician Assistant had listed 70%, in New York this is bad because the carrier will go with the lowest one especially when the surgeon reports it and the % is how they calculate lost wages.  So this patient (with 3 rib fractures by the way) could not work, but he is only getting 70% of the wage protection that he would get at 100%.  So when my associate called, he left a message and the surgeon was concerned he missed a call for a clinical issue.  When I told the surgeon it was administrative he relaxed and said that he will review the chart no problem.  Just something to think about…organizing tasks is important and medical specialists like to work with doctors that get that. 


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