Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Welcome to the team! Can you tell our readers a little bit about your role at Lake Washington Sports & Spine (LWSS)?
Thank you! My role as a medical assistant is to help make each visit with Dr. Hyman go as smoothly as possible, from gathering information at the start of each visit, making sure appointments stay on schedule, helping to draft referrals, setting up equipment for procedures, drawing blood for PRP injections, and serving as a liaison between Dr. Hyman and patients by helping to answer any questions or concerns patients may have related to their care.
So far, what is your favorite part of working at LWSS?
There are so many things to love, it is hard to say! First, I enjoy the culture of this office and the sense of community I already feel with the entire team- this is a small office and we are all driven to learn and become 2% better, every day. For example, it is a part of our office culture to never be afraid to ask questions, and to encourage providing feedback so that others can learn and improve their role in the practice. I also like that I can always count on doing a post-work workout in the office lobby with Laura and Elianna, or swap stories about the many hobbies and activities that we all pursue outside of work. Most of all, I love how much new information I am learning each day. I plan to continue my education and further my healthcare career by attending a graduate program to become a physician assistant, and the doctors undoubtedly take special care to teach me things that will help me when I become a medical provider, whether it be teaching me what they are looking at in an ultrasound, explaining the reasoning behind their medical approach, or encouraging me to study my anatomy and keep asking questions.
The LWSS mission is to KPA- Keep People Active. Can you explain how that mission guides the day-to-day care that the doctors provide?
Both Dr. Hyman and Dr. Chimes are very active in their own lives, and it is clear that they care deeply about helping their patients lead active lives as well. In my short time working at LWSS, I notice that the doctors take the time to address all factors that may be influencing a patient’s condition, including the patient’s lifestyle and activity goals. The doctors spend significant time educating patients about their given condition and treatment options, and they take the time to explain their thought processes throughout the diagnostic process, so that patients can have an active role in their own recovery. Dr. Hyman and Dr. Chimes offer treatments that can help patients get back to activity, rather than just masking the source of pain. Both doctors have faced their own fair share of injuries, and it is clear that they strive to be the kind of providers that they would have liked to see when going through their own recovery processes.
How do you personally align with the KPA mission?
One of my favorite ways to stay active is to get outdoors and take a hike! I love exploring nature and reaching new vantage points. I am always rejuvenated after getting to spend time outdoors, and this past summer I hiked the John Muir Trail, which is a 210 mile hike that goes from Yosemite to Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous states. I took 20 days in total, and completed the journey just one step at a time! In the short days of winter, I like to stay active by rock climbing at the gym or strength training so I can improve my climbing abilities. Most importantly, I want to take advantage of the capabilities of my body, which is an incredible system that allows me to experience the world in amazing ways.
What are the advantages of being treated by an LWSS physician vs. a physician in a large organization?
The advantage of being treated by an LWSS physician is that, unlike physicians working in a large system, Dr. Chimes and Dr. Hyman have significantly more control over what kind of care they can provide. They have the autonomy to offer PRP and prolotherapy injections, for example, which many larger organizations would not be able to offer due to insurance restrictions. The doctors can choose to have longer patient visits, which would otherwise be impossible in a larger organization where ‘productivity goals’ stipulate how many appointments the physician must have each day. Since it is a smaller office, it is also much easier to get a short-notice or same-day appointment, which could otherwise take months at larger practices. Also, it is pretty special that you may get to visit with Bucky, Nala, or Winnie, the lovable dogs that frequently keep company at the office.
Ok, now a little more about you! What are 5 fun Natalie H. facts?
Few people in my adult life know this, but growing up I was known as the “llama girl.” At one point I had four llamas and twenty-two sheep!
In college I discovered that one of my passions is helping others get outdoors to experience the wonders and rejuvenating power of nature, so for three years I led backpacking and kayaking trips through my university’s outdoor center.
My goal for 2016 is to ride my bike more, and this summer I would love to go on a multi-day cycling trip; there are so many beautiful places in the northwest, and traveling by bike would be challenging, but more efficient than hiking!
If I had to only cook with one spice for the rest of my life, it would without a doubt be garlic. I love it so much that once, in an attempt to convince others of its ultimate plant superiority, I made a roasted garlic apple spice cake. Suffice it to say that by the end of the evening, the cake had been devoured and I was left with only crumbs.
I love to cook, and if I could have one super power, it would be the ability to conjure up any plant food at the snap of a finger- I could cook the freshest of meals and I would never have to grocery shop again.