Taking the time to listen builds patient’s trust and loyalty


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One weekend last March, Jim Poythress experienced chest pains and clammy skin.

Poythress, 76, who suffers from coronary artery disease, immediately contacted Nurse Practitioner Nancy Tierney, PhD, and sped to the emergency room.

The next morning, cardiologist Abdul Keylani, MD, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at UNTHSC, inserted a stent to open Poythress’ blocked artery. Afterward, Dr. Keylani calmed Poythress’ worried wife, Barbara, by explaining the procedure at length.

Poythress, a retired mortgage banker, has depended on UNTHSC cardiologists to treat his artery disease for 17 years. And the reason is simple.

"They spend the time with me," he said.

That means the physicians patiently talk to him about his condition in language he understands, Poythress said. They listen to him. Unlike doctors elsewhere, they never act hurried or distant.

Since undergoing quadruple bypass surgery in 1997, Poythress has undergone four cardiac catheterizations and had two cardiac stents inserted. He regularly sees cardiologist Geoffrey Kline, DO, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, but praised the entire cardiology team.

"They talk to you as a human being – someone they truly care about helping," said Poythress, who lives in Parker County.  "I do not believe I could find better care or a more professional group of doctors anywhere."

Today, Poythress feels good. He’s back at his hobby of building furniture for friends and family in his wood shop.  He recently wrote a letter thanking the Cardiology Department for 17 years of exceptional care.

He wrote: "To you, I render my sincere appreciation for your professional treatment and your devotion to keeping me vertical."

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