The Mt. Sinai maze

Lessons Learned


Second visit to Mt. Sinai for more tests and seeing my kind and knowledgeable doctor completed. Round two!

Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is one of the oldest and largest teaching hospitals in the United States. In 2011-2012, Mount Sinai Hospital was ranked as one of America’s best hospitals by U.S. News & World Report in 12 specialties, and in 2013, Expertscape recognized it as having the world’s highest level of expertise in three programs.

Located on the eastern border of Central Park, at 100th Street and Fifth Ave., in the New York City borough of Manhattan, it is seriously necessary to know which entrance to use for your appointment. I say this because this hospital is massive. After my first appointment at 9, I was attempting to get to my next specialist for 10:30 when a physician’s assistant must have noticed my “deer in the headlights” look because she asked me if I could use some help. Again, I know that could be interpreted in another way; nevertheless, I was so grateful to this young lady. She said I could go back down and then outside and round the corner to the 98th St. entry, but she recommended we take the “tunnels.” I instantly imagined scenes from movies I’d seen where some character is being chased down by the story’s villain. No villain – but the tunnels were not that different. It was truly a maze of boiler rooms and storage areas, literally tunneling through Mt. Sinai. We reached my destination, I thanked her and she disappeared into the labyrinth. While waiting for my next appointment, I began talking to a gentleman about insurance and the need for doctors who listen, etc. Wouldn’t you know he turned out to be a to neurosurgeon waiting to be interviewed for a job at Mt. Sinai? Fortunately, at that moment, I was called into my next appointment. To my surprise, he stood up, shook my hand and wished me luck.

I then met a new specialist, and, as it is a teaching hospital, she asked if I would mind if a medical student could listen in. I instantly felt as if I were on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. This migraine specialist was quite familiar with my disease and its correlation to my severe headaches. She clarified several medication issues and suggested a plan for treating my pain. Next, I followed the blue dots on the floor (I was told to do this!) until I reached the Imaging Center. They did duplex carotid imaging, which meant to me simply more tests and more money. Another student came in to observe. From there, I was escorted by the student to my FMD specialist, Dr. Kadian-Dodov, where blood was taken for more testing and possibilities for treatment were reviewed.

This hospital is also affiliated with one of the foremost centers of medical education and biomedical research, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. In 2013, Mount Sinai Hospital joined with the Continuum Health Partners which is acclaimed internationally for its excellence in research, patient care and education across a range of specialties.

Easy to see why my neurosurgeon selected this institution to evaluate and treat my rare condition, FMD. My doctor, Daniella Kadian-Dodov, is a special human being. Assistant professor of Vascular Medicine at the Ichan School of medicine is only one of her many titles. Many times she has called or emailed me to check on my condition. I was surprised at first, but I came to realize she truly cares about her patients. She is brilliant and is an exotic beauty, part Armenian and part Bulgarian. She is empathetic and truly devoted to her work. She registered me for a study of FMD, and her partner, Dr. Olin, has written the latest information on the subject of Fibromuscular Dysplasia.

I left knowing that all these doctors would have to confer about my particular case before more than just medication could be offered. Waiting game, but at least I know I have the best doctors in the field making these decisions. Dr. Kadian said she would let me know in a week or so if I was a candidate for certain procedures.

As a huge fan of Grey’s Anatomy, I was tickled by the discussions in the halls and elevators of this institution. You didn’t have to look at name tags to know who were the leaders and the followers in this maze of dots and arrows. Brilliance surrounded me, but I still felt a bit amused.

Of course, I wasn’t so smug when I had to find a taxi out on Madison Avenue! Two young men tried to steal my cab, but the very large doorman from Mt. Sinai saved the day by stepping in their path and opened the taxi door for me. I thanked him and waved at the two “gentlemen.” New York is truly a state of mind!

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Posted by on Jun 4 2014. Filed under Editorial Columns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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