One word defines concierge medicine: Patience.
Not patients, though they are first among equals, but patience to do a job well – to do it with respect and compassion – so an individual can get the best care possible, so a doctor can do more than the minimum her profession requires, so that same doctor can take a maximalist approach to health care – so she can set new standards of quality – that exceed all expectations, so people can hear what she does because they can see what she does for them. Nowhere is that truth more urgent, and nowhere is that sense of immediacy more clear, than it is within the world of concierge audiology.
Take, for instance, the work of Dr. Melissa Alexander, Founder of Alexander Audiology.
Based in Los Angeles, Dr. Alexander is a model of patience: She travels to patients’ homes, where she meets in-house nurses, part- or full-time caregivers, as well as friends and loved ones of those she treats.
When she makes her way through this vast plain between the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, when she drives along one of the city’s five main boulevards, when she sits in traffic and sees the red glow of brake lights, when she is but one commuter in a seemingly infinite queue of a crimson-colored artery of transportation, when headlamps flash before her from the opposite direction, when she turns toward the narrow streets of the Hollywood Hills or enters a gated community –– when Dr. Alexander does these things, it is because she understands the struggles her patients face; she appreciates the will of these men and women to recover from a severe stroke or some other condition.
“When I meet with a patient, I never forget I am the recipient of a very generous gift. I am a guest in someone’s home, a beneficiary of that person’s hospitality and kindness. I owe it to that individual, and I owe it to myself, to be a source of clarity, help and empowerment,” says Dr. Alexander.
On a practical level, that means showing a patient how to adjust a hearing aid for better sound quality within a particular room or residence.
It means showing patients how to use – no, how to master – a hearing aid, so these individuals can do this for themselves without fear or intimidation.
It means restoring lives by reviving the ability to hear, so these men and women need not brave the elements because they are plenty brave already; because they are brave enough to want to return to their favorite places; because they have the confidence to frequent the restaurants and museums they enjoy; because they can hear the performers they like and the performances they prefer, in a theater where they are patrons of the arts; because they deserve the best, period.
That philosophy inspires Dr. Alexander, distinguishing her as a leader in her field.
She listens to her patients, because of her own patience, so they can hear the wonders of the world.