When you have a kidney stone, what do you want fast? Relief from excruciating pain, right? Pete* was no different. Normally, easy-going with a ready sense of humor that easily finds its way into everyday conversation, Pete’s chuckles when he says, “I was lucky I never had a kidney stone before—and I was unlucky that I got a kidney stone.”
Suffice it to say, Pete’s upbeat disposition took a temporary hit due to his nasty stone.
Like every person cursed with a stone, Pete worked the phones to find help. He called urologist in his health care provider’s network, but was underwhelmed by the response he received from the first several practices.
“I would try to schedule an appointment with a specific doctor,” Pete explains. “They’d say, ‘He’s not available.’ So, then I’d ask which care providers were available, but they’d never tell me. They said I had to give them a specific doctor’s name, but I couldn’t because I didn’t know the names of all their doctors. It was frustrating. I was thinking, I’m in pain, I need help. They need to figure out who’s available to help me.”
Help at Last
Pete’s luck changed when he called Urology Partners of North Texas. He was impressed with Urology Partner’s appointment desk.
“When I spoke with the scheduling desks at other practices, they didn’t really connect with me or try to understand my pain or pay attention to it. Urology Partners was very different. They didn’t say this doctor isn’t available and so on. They tried their best to find someone who could see me quickly.”
Pete was quickly sent to see Dr. Zachary Compton.
The Compton Connection
Pete was impressed with Dr. Compton right away. “He was different from other doctors,” he notes. “He was very friendly, empathetic and understood my pain. He didn’t treat me like I was one of 6,000 patients. He connected with me. He looked at my MRI and clearly outlined my treatment options in detail, along with the pros and cons of each.”
Dr. Compton recommended extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy—a minimally invasive procedure that uses very mild shock waves to break the stones into small fragments without an incision or intrusive device.
“He explained the procedure and drew diagrams,” Pete adds. “I appreciated that he explained what needed to be done in a friendly way that was on my level and that I could easily understand.”
After his exam, Pete thought he’d have to wait at home for news about his procedure date and time.
“I didn’t realize Dr. Compton was personally talking to the scheduling office to ensure I got an appointment as soon as possible. His schedule was booked up, but he didn’t want me to wait in pain, so he found the first available UP surgeon and OR time for me. I was actually leaving when he rushed to the elevator, pulled me out, and asked me to hold on while they scheduled an appointment for me right then.
“I’ve never seen a doctor go the extra mile like Dr. Compton did. It was mind blowing. Bottom line, by the time I left the clinic, I knew the time and place for my lithotripsy, and had medications to help me manage the pain until my appointment. That was the wow factor for me.”
Pain Free at Last
Two days later, Pete’s lithotripsy went like clockwork.
“I didn’t feel a thing. Since then, I’ve had zero pain. I’m back on my feet and feel good. I call it my unforgettable vacation,” he jokes.
Two weeks later, Pete got some advice during his follow-up visit with Dr. Compton. “He said, ‘I’m going to give you a prescription, and the good thing is you don’t need to ever renew it. Follow it and you’ll never have to see me again. Drink plenty of water.’ He gave me some other tips, too, to help me avoid another stone.”
Pete laughs as he remembers the last thing Dr. Compton said to him: “I hope I never see you again.”
As much as he likes Dr. Compton, Pete admits the feeling is mutual. “It was a very nice experience, except for my pain,” he notes. “It was actually the first time I had a good experience with a doctor who really connected well with me. That’s what we all want from a doctor: Don’t treat us as a patient—treat us as the patient, not like one of hundreds.”