A Physician’s Experience of Dr. McLaughlin’s Care
As a physician, I have worked with hundreds of surgeons in my career. None of them come close to the compassion and focus on the patient that Dr. Mark McLaughlin demonstrates. After 5 years of progressively worsening headaches and missed diagnoses on MRI, I was finally found to have a Chiari Malformation and was referred to Dr McLaughlin for consultation. He added me into his schedule within the week and I was able to review my condition, the MRIs and a treatment plan with him at that first visit. My referring physician was strongly opposed to a surgical solution however after talking to Dr McLaughlin, it was clear that surgery was the only solution to my problem. He clearly laid out all of the risks and potential benefits of a surgical approach and described in detail, what the procedure would entail. By the time I left the office I had hope for a normal life for the first time in years. I had resigned myself to a life of headaches and limitations to what I was physically able to do. I was already limited in how I could play with my 2 year old twins and expect this to continue. Dr McLaughlin gave me hope that things could get better.
Dr McLaughlin and his office helped me schedule my surgery, prepare for being out of work for recovery and volunteered to talk with my family about any questions they had. When the day of surgery came, I could not have felt more confident that I had made the right decision. Dr McLaughlin met with my family and I, explained again what was going to occur and how we would provide regular updates to them throughout the surgery. Despite the seriousness of the impending surgery, I was remarkably calm.
Despite some challenges due to my unusual anatomy which caused the procedure to take a bit longer than expected, the surgery was successful. Dr McLaughlin provided regular updates to my family who were getting nervous that it was taking longer than expected. These updates helped to greatly calm their fears. My hospital stay was brief and surprisingly pleasant. Dr McLaughlin and his staff checked in with me regularly and were always available for questions. By the time I came home 2 days after surgery, I was already feeling better than I had in years.
The compassion and care that Dr McLaughlin provided was critical to my healing and recovery. I was actually able to return to work several weeks sooner than we had expected and have been headache free since the surgery. I can play with my twins and perform activities that I had long ago given up. I finally have my life back and I owe this all to Dr McLaughlin. His compassion and patient commitment are not only remarkable but are also, regrettably, uncommon. From the initial consultation, through surgery and the recovery period, Dr McLaughlin has always been there for me. I was shocked when he called me on my cell phone when I got home after surgery to see how I was doing. He continues to check in periodically and has developed a follow up plan that gives me confidence that I can live my life as I choose, no longer limited by debilitating headaches.
Dr McLaughlin exhibits all of the best qualities of a physician. He balances both the art and science of medicine and is a true healer. As a physician myself, I have been humbled not only by the experience of undergoing this surgery but also by the care that Dr McLaughlin provided.
Ron Falcon, MD
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