From the Editor
We’re delighted, as ever, to present our Top Doctors list (p. 61) to guide you in making those very important decisions about your health. As a bonus, we asked three of them how to tell a good doctor from a bad one and how they choose doctors for themselves and their loved ones.
“Pick a Doctor Who Is Going to Listen to You”
Dr. Heather V. Auld, an OB/GYN with Physicians Primary Care of Southwest Florida, advises: “Pick a doctor who is going to sit and actually listen to you.” But, she adds, it’s a team effort that includes the doctor’s partners. “It’s not one person. It’s how they work together. I trust any one of my partners with my family.” She says to choose a doctor who doesn’t have a large turnover of office help. And it’s important that your calls are returned promptly.
“Ethics Are Very Important”
Dr. Howard J. Kapp, orthopaedic surgeon at NCH Healthcare System, says, “To be a good doctor, ethics are very important. You don’t want someone doing surgery that’s unnecessary, doing tests that aren’t indicated. I think compassion, understanding the patient’s problem and wanting to help him or her is very important. Competency is really the key. As you [as a surgeon] develop a little niche, you’re better off not doing everything, so you can maintain good competency at what you’re doing. In terms of being a surgeon, you’ve got to have good hand-eye coordination. There are definitely surgeons who have good hands and some who are fumblers.”
Patients can check physicians’ credentials. “They should be a member of the state academy and national academy, because all these groups have processes to weed out the bad seed. And ask around. If you’re a tennis player, you’ll see people playing who have had procedures done.”
“Get a Sense the Physician Is on Our Side”
Dr. Stephen G. Schwartz, ophthalmologist at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, says, “A lot of it has to do with empathy. The most important thing for my family or myself is if I get a sense the physician is on our side, and whether he or she is trying. Personally, I rely a lot on word of mouth. I’ll find somebody whose opinion I value and say, ‘I’m looking for an obstetrician for my wife; whom do you recommend?’ I’ve always preferred university-affiliated doctors. That’s why I’ve been one. Most physicians are excellent and keeping up with advances and offering the same level of care. But I do think there is something different about academic medical standards. A big part of what we do is education and research and training.”
As the (Business) Wheel of Fortune Turns
As of mid-April, we came under new ownership. Well, not exactly new, since Gulfshore Media, LLC, is headed by Dan Denton, who bought the company in 2000, stayed on after he sold it to CurtCo in 2004 and had been gone since mid-2008. We heartily welcome Dan back. With his passion for our magazines, his deep understanding of the local market and his keen business mind, Dan’s sure to bring exciting and prosperous times ahead. We bid a warm farewell to outgoing president Chris Schulz, who contributed significantly to our products and was a noteworthy presence in the community. We’re going to miss his wife, Julie French, too. As our fashion director, Julie brought a special sophistication and beauty to Gulfshore Life that felt so right. All the best to Chris and Julie, who’ll be returning to the California they love so well.
Our Cupid Dept. Strikes Again
Who knew another Cupid arrow would land so tellingly at our October 2008 party honoring the area’s hottest bachelors? In 2007, bachelor Jerry Gershon met his future wife, Terry Crowley, at our event. This time it was Trent Ryan spotting Margaret Short as “stunningly beautiful.” A friend wanted her to meet Ryan. Although Short lost a silent auction bid for a date package with him, she won his heart. Ryan, associate director of development at the local YMCA, called two days later, proposed to Margaret just before that Christmas and married her this April. Says Margaret, events director at the Naples Grande Beach Resort, “I had no doubt he was the one when I first saw him.” Will sparks fly again for the area’s romantics at this year’s party? Dress right on up and join the fun.