On August 28th while going through a divorce I was diagnosed with colon cancer and required surgery. While working to quickly close down my practice, I suffered a number Transient Ischemic Attacks (“mini strokes”) requiring carotid artery surgery a week after colon resection surgery. I was grateful I made preparations for such a crisis, but I also realized how unprepared I was.
To be prepared have on hand:
  • a living will
  • health care power of attorney
  • HIPPA compliant person who knows where things are
  • written office practice instructions (copy also kept safely outside office)
  • lists of passwords, websites, insurance company contact information, clients names and phone numbers, and outstanding billing
  • directions on how to process claims and do billing
  • back-up of your processed insurance claims and programs
  • written instructions of what to say to your clients and how to change voice mail message
  • sample release form ready for clients to sign so treatment summary can be sent
When you enter the hospital: Clients may try to call, to visit, to send flowers, etc. They feel anxious and abandoned having their therapy disrupted abruptly.
  • have a non-published status at the hospital.
  • have a reassuring message on your phone that says please respect your need to heal and instructions on how and where to get their records sent
What to do while you heal after the crisis:
  • consult with the therapist your client chose.
  • do all those things we said we would do when we got time
  • exercise
  • get a makeover
  • go for psychotherapy
  • make a gratitude list
  • meditate
  • read
  • redesign how you will do your practice when you start over
  • watch comedy
  • write an article
You can look at this as an ending or a new beginning. Attitude will make all the difference. If we practice what we have taught our clients, what a wealth of experience we can share when we are back in that therapist’s chair.
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You are correct. 3 yrs ago yesterday I entered the hospital having 5 tia's and needed colon cancer surgery and carotid surgery within a week of each other all the while trying to close down my psychotherapy practice. It was not my plan, but it all worked out and I survived and thrived. We plan in hope that we will not need to institute it. Keep looking for ways to safeguard your skills and health so you can continue to do what brings you joy. Care for yourself as well as you do your patients.

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it is my motto for my radio show: if you want to help yourself, help someone else." I took what happened to me and made it available so others may not have to experience what I did. Be sure to listen to my show. www.voiceamerica.com/show/1929/the-dr-melanie-show.

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It was a very difficult situation for a medical practioner to handle a medical crisis,if it hapens then then we have to handle them with patience

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