Recently I noticed that several patients were referred for appointments, then they canceled or simply didn’t show up. I was curious so I tried to find out why. I saw a pattern. These people were either people with very hard to treat headaches or very complicated (previous brain surgery, injuries, other complicating illnesses, unusual headaches or face pain). They had made the (false) assumption that if they had been seen by big headache centers or other medical centers and didn’t get help, how could a small town headache clinic, directed by a PA none the less, have any chance of helping them?
I think we shine the most with these complex and difficult to treat cases. We have several such patients who have found a correct diagnoses here (for the first time) and have found great help. The reason is simple. There is no one in the Pacific Northwest who has had more experience and knowledge in headache treatment than us. I’ve attended virtually every headache scientific meeting for the past thirty years and Dr. Moren for the last ten. The other thing is because I’m a PA and I don’t need to earn $100,000 or $200,000/ year, I have the luxury of spending a lot of time with patients rather than just a high volume to cover my salary. Listening is paramount to finding the right diagnoses and most appropriate treatment program for that particular patient. There is no headache problem that is too complex for us. I came to the Pacific Northwest from Mayo Clinic’s Headache Division in Rochester, Minnesota. There, everyday, I saw the most complex headache patients in the world.
So it saddens me when patients make a false assumption and deny themselves the opportunity to get well. I just wanted to make this clear so that people would give us the chance to change their lives.