finally exhaused by the hype

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finally exhaused by the hype

Postby wsemajb » Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:05 pm

Full lasik with wavefront shopping.
Of x, y, and z locally, I chose company x because, everything else being equal among them - equipment used, price, follow-on care - x seemed to be the most straight forward in its representation of itself.

Really the only thing that irritated me was this company's constant trumpeting of a rather well known sports figure who trusted his eyes to their care. Of course I realize that this company just happened to have the pockets deep enough to pay this sports stars' mind-numbing endorsement fees for the privilege of operating on his eyes - and then getting him to say that company x is the one, of all others, he was most impressed with. The fact that I'm one of the two percent of consumers who laugh at this crap makes me really lack sympathy sometimes. Other than all of that, company x actually spelled out it's programme most clearly to me with the least amount of "small print".

Ok, one other thing irritated me. I was really charmed by their "lifetime"
committment to me. The others offered considerably less. It was some time into the process (after the hook was buried) that I discover that the lifetime care requires a yearly full checkup at your eye doctor. No doubt, if you can afford it, yearly checkups for life, by any and all number of medical specialists, is very wise. Frankly, I would expect that every two to three for eye exams should be the norm for someone like me for the remainder of my life. That commercial package deal here between the company and it's associated practitioners is starting to smell funny here if you have to find it in the fine print.

Anyway, I'm well on my way to getting set up for surgery with this company. Prescreening clears my candidacy. I download the Curriculum Vitae offered by the surgeon I'm told will be conducting the work, and I'll try to put the following as succinctly as possible. He's listed as having been selected as the "Best Doctor in America" for five of the past seven years (three on his CV, and two additional according to his office staff when I telephoned them).

After a fruitless Google search I telephoned his office in order to discover the methodology, comprehensiveness, selectivity, sponsorship, etc (ok, the basic truth) behind such committee/committees, peers or organizations that have bestowed this honorific. His office staff confessed to having no idea at all.

They explained this ignorance owed to the fact that I was the first person in their combined 16 years of association with doctor X who had ever had a question regarding his qualifications. Therefore, none of them had ever looked into his record themselves. (one woman actually told me that Dr. X is considered the "Michael Jordan" of the opthamalic community "worldwide", and therefore very few people would find it necessary to ask of his qualifications - as I am presently doing.

Well, from my point of view, he certainly has risen to super-stardom from relatively humble beginnings. Other than undergrad at a decent state univerity in our neighboring state, his trajectory meandered through a string of community colleges and local eye institutions. Odds would suggest that America's Best Doctor might have hailed from the Ivy Leagues. But I'm the idiot.

I had already determined, by telephone, the validity of his outright certifications by contacting the boards he listed. But his awards just bugged me. Here's that HYPE again - rearing it's ugly head. Even the best of them just can't seem to resist.

"Best Doctor in America". ???????? What the heck is this? "Well of course that doesn't include specialties other than opthamology" his office tells me. Of course. Anyone could have figured that out by the unequivocal title. Wouldn't the "Best Doctor in America" have more than half a dozen random Google hits to his name amid the clutter of thousands of other less eminent opthamologists? I checked. He doesn't.

While they still had no idea for me who had actually awarded these titles, one of them promised to get back to me with info, either by phone or email. Thursday, Friday, the weekend, and now Monday have gone by without a word from them. His CV remains online as it was. All of the above from a group that might soon be operating on my EYES!!

I don't know. Perhaps someone far wiser than me may be able to argue that the (more and more frequently rank) commercialization of medicine has served to bring a level of (elective) services and skill that would otherwise be priced out of reach to a middle income slouch like myself. Maybe that's true. But at the same time, such commercialization seems to inject an element into the proceedings that just doesn't pass the smell test for something as important as eye surgery.

I've decided, unfortunately, to wait another year or so to reconsider all of this. What a disappointment.
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Postby johnson1615 » Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:38 pm

Very sad that you had this experience.

I checked out my doctor thoroughly and was very pleased with my findings. And even more pleased with my results.

Don't fool yourself into believing that only 2% see through the hype in most advertising.....................

Try for a doctor that will provide you with actual patient references. Awards are great for the wall, but talk to his patients and make your own decision.
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Postby LasikExpert » Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:55 am

There is nothing wrong with waiting to make a decision on an elective surgery.
Glenn Hagele
Volunteer Executive Director

Lasik Info &
Lasik Doctor Certification

I am not a doctor.
Site Admin
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Location: California

Postby epthorn » Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:02 pm

I am considering the procedure and have seen similar claims- would the 'famous sports figure' happen to have the initials TW?
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