Health care at its best

May 27, 2022
by Ivan Raconteur

I have worked with an abundance of people in the health care field during the past two years. They had all sorts of jobs, including housekeeping staff, receptionists, schedulers, technicians, nurses and nurses’ assistants, physician assistants, doctors, specialists, consultants, and more that I can’t think of right now.

At all levels, some individuals were better than others, but most were compassionate, helpful, and did their best for the patients in their care, despite the challenging conditions under which they work. My respect for them has only grown over time, and I feel fortunate that they do what they do.

Among all these dedicated people, one stands out. Dr. Joelle Holland at Complete Eye Care of Medina is a treasure.

I began working with Dr. Holland in 2021. Prior to that, I had been referred to cornea specialists in a couple of other locations as I sought help for my declining vision. I have no doubt that these were fine individuals, but after months of appointments and numerous procedures, my situation had not improved.

About that time, I received a glowing reference for Dr. Holland from a good friend of mine who had experienced some of the same eye problems I was having. This was quite an endorsement because my friend is very sensitive about anything to do with her eyes, and Dr. Holland had made her comfortable throughout their association.

From my first appointment with Dr. Holland, it was clear that she was something special. Despite the fact that she was busy, as all doctors are, our consultations never felt rushed. She took the time to listen to my questions and concerns, and she explained the options for treatment, her recommendations and proposed plan, and the estimated costs clearly and completely.

This may seem obvious, but I have had appointments in the past with doctors who were practically backing out the door from the moment they said hello.

Dr. Holland treated me like a person, not a number on a chart, and I found that infinitely refreshing.

I was forced to put my course of treatment with Dr. Holland on hold in September when a second stroke sent me to the hospital for a few weeks, followed by months of physical and occupational therapy. During that time, I was astonished to receive a personal card from Dr. Holland wishing me a speedy recovery. That brightened my day and convinced me that she cared about my overall health, not just my vision.

I was delighted when I was recently able to resume my treatment with Dr. Holland. She determined that the stroke had not made the situation worse, and we discussed our treatment options moving forward.

One thing that stands out about working with Dr. Holland is that it has always felt like a partnership. It’s not simply a doctor throwing out standard options. We discussed the best ways to address my specific situation and decided together how to proceed. I have the utmost confidence in her recommendations. My vision is extremely important to me, but this kind of professionalism would be welcome in any number of situations.

My purpose is not to castigate all the other hardworking health care professionals who dedicate their lives to helping others but to point out that the system is flawed. It is set up in such a way that we sometimes end up making the most important decisions we will make — those affecting our health — in a rush, possibly without a complete understanding of our options. We might spend more time selecting a type of paint at a home improvement store than we do select a course of treatment with our physician. In this environment, it stands out when a doctor goes to great lengths to make sure we clearly understand our options and are comfortable with a plan.

Dr. Holland’s sense of humor and positive outlook make each appointment a joy, and her commitment to care is reflected by her staff. My road to a better vision is far from over, but I’m confident that I’ll be in good hands along the way.

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