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First and foremost I am declaring that I am the first to use this term: “The Rescue Patient.” I have now made my mark. My fifteen minutes of fame may be over.

If you can’t stomach tough love, stop reading here. If you are a rescue patient and you want to get better, read on.

You know who you are. You’ve had a bad, no, a very bad experience with the medical profession and you have lost all trust and faith. You’ve been beaten down like a political candidate. Your sensibility is destroyed and you feel you have nowhere to turn.

You feel like that spy in the movie who is being chased by everyone who is trying to “come in from the cold.” Everywhere you turn there is danger because you can’t trust anyone. Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible or Robert Redford in Three Days of the Condor comes to mind. As a result you don’t come in and you stay away. Who could blame you!

In the foot and ankle business I definitely see my share of rescue patients. From my vantage point you can be angry, contentious, controlling, and generally unpleasant. All of the ire that you did not level on the last guy is now poring out onto me. For years I did not like you. After all I am a trustworthy guy and here you are accusing and judging me, at least by implication – and we just met. You take way too much time, you are not much fun and you seem to spend all your time trying to convince me how bad this is for you.

My staff says get rid of you, but for some crazy reason I persist. I certainly could not look the other way because I am the last line of defense for you and I take that very seriously…

Then, many years ago I got it. The challenge to “turn you” physically, mentally, and emotionally was an awesome and rewarding thing. Sick words coming from an unemotional middle-aged surgeon who just about flunked psychology and psychiatry. Like most surgeons, I am privately proud of this feat (doing poorly in psych) as somehow it makes me a better surgeon.

So while several of my friends rescue dogs, I rescue patients when needed. I actually enjoy bringing you in from the cold. You have become a different kind of challenge and I get to restore your faith and make you better on many levels.

In my next blog I’ll break down the five ways you can effectively move forward where you thought you could not.