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Doctor-Patient Communication, LinkedIn and the Pandemic

A discussion with Matthew Ray Scott of Feed the Agency 'A Brand Rx For Growing Surgeon Business'
Matthew Ray Smith:

I'm here today with Dr. Cory Calendine. I've got a question for you. During this pandemic How are you thinking or rethinking how you communicate with patients as kind of this part of their overall patient experience during the pandemic.

Cory Calendine, MD:

Well thank you so much. "MRS" as I like to refer to you  -but yes such a great question. I would say during the pandemic everything has changed, everything except perhaps the most important things. You know we were talking just a few minutes ago about how I'm in the pain business. I'm trying to ease pain and obviously some of that physical pain. I'm an orthopedic guy, and I do a lot of hip and knee replacements. The reality is that the most important things that affect patients are no different during a pandemic than they were before. But how we communicate - that's massively changed. You know when we started it was a lot of telehealth. And I'm sure you were involved in that space, but not all of my patients responded well to that. What I learned is those things that don't change - they want to know about me, they want to know who I am and what I stand for. They also want to know where they are in the process and what's next for them. And so what I have done during this time -you know this is the first pandemic I've been a part of - but what I have done during the time is really leverage some of these online platforms LinkedIN some and Facebook have been great for my patients and YouTube as well. You know what I've been able to do - and you talk about this a lot - I've been able to establish a trust and a connection with the patient before they even get to me. They don't want to go around a three and four physicians and figure out what that right fit is. I think they learn a lot more before they get to me now. So I'm trying to meet them where they are first. So, what's different during the pandemic is  everything except the most simple things - which is that connection.

Matthew Ray Smith:

Yeah. I appreciate your response and I promise this is not scripted. One of the things that I really admire about what you're doing both on a peer to peer professional and on a personal level, is you give us glimpses of you the person, how you think or your point of view, even your process of here's how we're figuring out how to communicate better or more efficiently with patients. And then of course there's a procedural aspect to what you do as an orthopedic surgeon.

And what I think is helpful for other surgeons listening to us is that you don't have to feel the pressure of being one-dimensional. You have the opportunity to talk about a lot of things that are interesting, that are still patient centric, still compliant and creative to your professional association as a doctor, and so I think you do a great, great job with that.

One last question for you. What advice would you give for a fellow orthopedic surgeon that may be  on the fence about using the 'professional watercooler' that we know is linked in? What advice do you have for them that might make them curious to engage or at least both learn and teach on LinkedIn?

Cory Calendine, MD:

Well I think I can just tell you what my experience has been. It's been so valuable for me, and and you're not the first one to say  - Cory you've given us glimpses of different angles of what you do and why you do it. It's probably, honestly because I'm not smart enough to have a strategy. But what I hope comes across is just a genuine love, not only for what I do, but really for the patient. You challenged us on LinkedIn by the way several months ago to tell a story that kind of explained why you do what you do. And I picked one where a buddy of mine was playing college baseball, and at the end he was relating a story (years later after college baseball) that he was having a horrible, horrible game. Maybe relevant to your ears because obviously the World Series is going on. He's having a horrible game and the coach ran up to him on the mound and just wore him out. And, no surprise to any of us, that game didn't get better. And he was telling the story as if to say how mean this guy was to him. But what I took most from the story was...

if you want to make an impact in people's lives you meet them during their time of pain, and it's such a blessing for me that that's my job. Matthew that's what I'm supposed to be able to do, is make an impact on people when they're on the mound - when they're in pain. Now it's up to me or you to meet those people on the mound with authenticity and give them all we've got.

So no great threat here. If I had you on my team maybe I'd have a better one.

Matthew Ray Smith:

But the reality is I'm on your team - I'm on your team. You had me at "savoring life to the bone."

Cory Calendine, MD:

Well that's something that really has encapsulated a lot of things for me. It's that absolute love of what I do. But man I'm obsessed about my kids, and I have an amazing wife, and my goodness like in between clinic sessions - I get to talk to 'MRS'.

Matthew Ray Smith:

Hey I'm so grateful that you took time out of your busy schedule. Honestly this is not contrived. I love what you're doing on LinkedIn. I like how you're sharing glimpses of who you are and who you're becoming. And I think that's why it resonates so much with fellow surgeons and even patients who are choosing doctors instead of practices.

So thank you so much.

Cory Calendine, MD:

Well thank you so much and you've certainly guided me through the pandemic in many ways. So I appreciate what you do. Thanks.

Contact Information for Matthew Ray Scott and Feed the Agency:

Schedule a Zoom chat - https://calendly.com/branddoctor/15min
(Office) 877-786-7979
(Email) mscott@feedtheagency.com

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Cory Calendine, MD is an Orthopaedic Surgeon and founding partner of the Bone and Joint Institute of Tennessee at Williamson County Hospital in Franklin, TN. Dr. Calendine is an expert in Joint Replacement, specializing in Hip and Knee Surgery. From diagnosis through treatment, the Orthopaedic Surgical experts at the Bone and Joint Institute use the latest techniques and technology to improve care for people with musculoskeletal problems. For more information, please contact our office or schedule your appointment today.  

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