Beware Those Wolves in Sheeps’ Clothing

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This post was originally published in July 2013, and was updated in July 2020. 

Two unrelated stories have crossed my path, but their bottom lines are the same.  It’s too easy to be fooled. 

Story #1:  … is based on a scathing article from the Wall Street Journal about the amount of money medical device companies pay to the doctors who use their products.  The story is mostly focused on investigations from the Justice Department starting with one doctor who lived and worked in California, Dr. Aria Sabit, who insisted on using certain spinal implant products because he owns part of the distributorship company and is making money in a half dozen ways – from kickbacks to distributorship profits – over each surgery he does.

But the story-within-the-story is that Dr. Sabit is also named in 12 lawsuits over the deaths of people who died as a result of his surgeries – and who had received those implants to help them live better-quality lives. It matters little whether the fault lies with the implants or the doctor’s skill level; those patients are dead.

But there’s more to the story, of course, and unfortunately, it’s not a part of the WSJ article.

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Bogus Claims Will Come Back to Bite You

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(This post is being published in May 2020 – in the midst of the pandemic – when many advocates are working from home, and hopefully taking time to update and improve their business practices. I hope the message here rings true for those of you – the few of you – who need it, and that necessary changes will be made accordingly.)

…..

True confessions here! I met my husband on Match.com. We met and married in 2006. Today we continue to live our happily ever after.

Prior to meeting him, I dated a handful of other (so-called) gentlemen I met on Match.com who weren’t “all that”. And, sad to say, (or, at the time, what seemed appalling to me) when I met them in person, after reading their profiles and seeing the photos they had posted, I was amazed at how much they had either stretched the truth or, in a couple of cases, out-and-out lied. From posting photos that made them look 30 lbs lighter or 20 years younger, to claiming they were far younger than they were, to saying they were widowed or divorced, only to learn they were really married… yikes.

(I had to wonder how little regard they had for me, or any other woman they hoped to connect with, that they didn’t think we’d ever figure out the truth? Then what?)

So what does this have to do with building an advocacy practice?

Plenty.

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(Update #5) For Your Listening and Learning Pleasure…

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Covid-19 Update:  April 13, 2020

Whether you’re holed up in your home office, or enjoying a nice walk or other exercise, or anything in between, your earpods, or earbuds, or a headset can be your friend and teacher for three podcasts APHA recently recorded and published under the title Crisis Conversations.

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Self-Centered and Unbusinesslike

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Suppose I go to my favorite pizza shop and this conversation takes place:

Me: I would like a pepperoni pizza with black olives, onions, and extra cheese.

Johnny the Pizza Guy:  Sure! I’d be happy to help you with this pizza. But first let me tell you all about my pizza experiences – the reason I like to make pizzas. When I was little, we went to my grandmother’s house for dinner every Wednesday. My grandmother always made meatloaf. She made meatloaf with ground beef and always made gravy and mashed potatoes to go with it. It tasted good. It was filling. Then one Wednesday after eating dinner at Grandma’s (and realizing that it didn’t quite taste the same) my brother got really sick and started to throw up. Then the rest of us started to get sick, too. My mother was worried, so she took us to the ER, and sure enough – Grandma’s meatloaf, which had been tried and true and never changed… Well. She had made it with pork this time, the pork hadn’t cooked through, and we all got food poisoning. So now I make pizza.

Me: Seriously? I come in here to order a pizza and I have to listen to that story? Forget it. I don’t want your pizza anymore.

Now, of course, not only will I not get my pizza, but I have to figure out what to do next, and make all new arrangements for dinner!

I know. You think I’ve really lost it now, but bear with me to see how this applies to you, as an independent advocate.

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