“My overriding goal is to establish complete trust and solid communication with each of my patients.” – Dr. Hicks.
Trust, Confidence & Compassion: A Surgical Patients Experience
Posted On: July 17, 2017
“Dr. Hicks was always there for me. Always calm. Always reassuring.” – Renee Young, Patient
As a pharmacist, Renee Young deals with pain every day, dispensing medication to customers suffering a variety of ailments. Clearly she appreciates being one vital link in the chain of professionals whose work results in relief for so many people.
When she became the one in pain, the importance of all the other vital links became clearer than ever. Always active at work—bending down to reach some shelves, reaching up to get to others, dashing from one end of the pharmacy to the other—one day Renee felt the need to lie down on the floor because of severe back pain. She could hardly move, let alone stand, dash or stretch. With countless customer stories swirling in her head about anguish and other dire physical prospects, Renee began to wonder and worry what her immediate future held.
As it turned out, her experience with Dr. Alfred Hicks at Orthopedic Associates of Middletown made all the earlier conjectures and concern seem unwarranted. Dr. Hicks and his associates were the vital links that led to Renee’s complete recovery.
Her primary care physician referred her to OAM, and not a moment too soon: on her first visit she could barely stand at the registration desk. When an initial MRI ruled out a problem with Renee’s ankles, Dr. Hicks, OAM’s neck, back and spine specialist, ordered another MRI on Renee’s back. After reviewing her MRI and discussing all the treatment options, Renee decided that surgery was the best option.
“Dr. Hicks explained everything so thoroughly,” Renee says. Despite her uncertain feelings, “He was calm and confident, so much so that I stopped being nervous at all.”
After that initial meeting, it was no surprise that the immense level of care returned in full on the day of the surgery. “Dr. Hicks came into the room and named everyone who would be working with him,” Renee explains. “Then they came in to introduce themselves individually. It made such a personal impact. We all went into surgery together as a team!”
Dr. Hicks told Renee that his goal was to take care of her the way he would take care of anyone in his family. The day after surgery, when he returned to her room, “He was excited to see that I was sitting up. My pain was gone—but he was so excited for me!” Renee recalls. “Of course, I was excited, too—but to feel it from him was extra special.”
Many others have had similar reactions to their OAM care. “My overriding goal is to establish complete trust and solid communication with each patient,” says Dr. Hicks. “I want my patients to get back to what they do as quickly as they can.” Dr. Hicks has been helping people do that for many years, first at Peninsula Hospital on Long Island, then at the renowned Leatherman Spine Center in Kentucky, and now at OAM, which he joined in 2015. His focus is on conservative non-operative neck and lumbar spine treatments, minimally invasive procedures, artificial disc replacement, traditional spine surgery and more. In concert with his patient-centered approach, he also credits his devotion to remaining current with all the latest advancements in his field.
Dr. Hicks received his medical degree from Midwestern University and then served as a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy, where he was a staff orthopedic spine surgeon at the Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. He served a tour of duty at a hospital in Afghanistan where he performed more than 450 surgeries.
Following her surgery, Renee worked with Dr. Hicks to develop the appropriate recovery and physical therapy plan to get back to work. Although now pain-free, she calls him from time to time with questions about her progress. “He never made me feel like I was imposing or that he didn’t have time. He was there for me,” says Renee. “He was always so calm and reassuring.” No surprise there.
Her high regard has her not only smiling, but even jesting: “My experience gave me so much confidence that if I ever need another procedure, I won’t go anywhere else, no matter what the problem is!”
Renee is now back at work helping customers find the relief they need—and hoping that all their stories can be as successful and inspiring as her own.