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Dr. Tomaino's Blog

Exchange is Most Valuable When it is in both Directions

June 5th, 2009
I have had the privilege these past 2 days of attending the largest Mexican Orthopaedic Meeting for Reconstruction, Sports Medicine, and Arthroscopy--"AMECRA". This year it is being held in Los Cabos, right on the ocean, where the constant beat of the surf audibly reflects nature's beauty.
Asked to deliver 2 lectures on arthroscopic strategies for treating partial tears of the rotator cuff, I was uncertain as to whether any language barrier might interfere with my message. What I failed to consider was the value of our common objective (both the Mexican Orthopaedic Surgeons in attendance, and my own), restoring function to the shoulder and improving quality of life.

Our dialogue after the talks, over dinner, and beyond demonstrated the value of "exchange,"and was mutually satisfying. I learned about issues/challenges in Mexico in terms of delivery of care and lack of technology, at times---which, for the most part have not interfered in the least with their provision of contemporary treatment!

Mutual understanding of a shared objective, treatment options and challenges transcended language barriers.
So too, in our interaction with our patients at home, is our message and commitment potentially compromised by "failure to communicate"--not because of language barrier, but because of a host of other reasons. Because the most valuable exchange is, indeed, two-way, I encourage you to be satisfied with your understanding of your problem as well as the road to feeling better. You must be willing, in that light, to participate actively in the dialogue--ask questions if you have them. Be patient, but let your doctor know when and if you need a bit more...."Exchange."


Maryann Mazzaferro

I really stopped to think about the importance of communication when I read your message Dr, Tomaino. Your philosophy can apply to so many aspects of life. As an educator my interaction with students depends so much on a "two-way" communication. And more explanation if it is needed. A successful marriage is built on " two-way"' communication. And your successful practice exemplifies communication. Any time i have needed a bit more "exchange" you have always been there- it's part of the recovery process and Tomaino "Total Care". how lucky your patients are that you have this understanding and patience.

June 9th, 2009 @ 1:43 pm

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