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Grateful Patient Stories: Debra Powers


Debbie Powers, a grateful patient

I was sick with pneumonia for most of November and December 2013.  I was in Howard County General Hospital for 4 days in November and another 4 in December.  My doctor found a blockage in the right middle lobe of my lung.  Further testing showed the blockage to be a tumor and I was referred to Dr. Nirav Shah at the University of Maryland School of Medicine to have the tumor removed.  My doctor at home had great faith in Dr. Shah's abilities. 

My doctor said that Dr. Shah's office would contact me to schedule the procedure.  I got home from the hospital late in the evening on the 23rd of December.  The next morning, my husband and I were trying to settle our nerves and adjust our expectations. Of course we were quite unnerved to learn I had a lung tumor and were anxious to talk to Dr. Shah, but we agreed to be patient because it was Christmas Eve; we did not expect to hear from his office until after the holidays. 

We were thrilled to receive a call about an hour later and we were amazed that call was actually from Dr. Shah HIMSELF.  We were so impressed that he took his own time on Christmas Eve to call us.  He was so personable and kind.  He spent plenty of time talking over everything with us and answering all of our questions.  I had some radiology records that he thought he might need and when we offered to bring them to his office he said there was no need.  He said that if he needed the records, we could find a convenient place to meet near our home and that he would pick the records up from us.  We had never experienced a doctor that was concerned about what was convenient for us.

We talked about a proposed time for the surgery, early in January 2014.  I then realized that for insurance purposes, it would be better to have it done in 2013.  I emailed Dr. Shah asking if we could have the surgery done in 2013, understanding it would be unlikely since there was only about a week left of 2013.  He called me almost immediately and said he could do the surgery on December 31st.  He explained that he was supposed to be off that day but could come in early in the day to accommodate the request.  Again, I was impressed that he responded to my email with a call, but especially that he was willing to give up his holiday to do my surgery.

Dr. Shah's kindness was a tremendous comfort to us.  I have never felt so much like a person with a doctor before.  He made me feel like he truly cared about me as a whole person--and before we had even met in person! 

I hope my story can help lead other people to Dr. Shah and University of Maryland School of Medicine.  I could not imagine receiving better care from more caring medical providers anywhere.

Debra Powers 

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