Milwaukee Foot & Ankle - September 2017

Mequon 10945 N. Port Washington Rd. Mequon, WI 53092 414-228-6444

Oak Creek 7001 S. Howell Ave. Oak Creek, WI 53154 414-622-1574

414-257-0676 www.milwaukeefoot.com

FANCY FOOT WORK

Wauwatosa 10125 W. North Ave. Wauwatosa, WI 53226 414-257-0676

SEPTEMBER 2017

New Berlin 3610 Michelle Witmer Memorial Dr. Suite 110 New Berlin, WI 53151 262-821-1588

WE’RE NOT IN THE FOOT BUSINESS

We’re in the People Business

“When you work actively to cultivate real relationships with your patients, they stick with you.”

No matter how prepared you think you are before you start your own practice, you learn fast in those first few years. In the beginning, I was occupied mostly with providing the best possible patient care, mastering the on-the-job ins and outs of podiatry and seeking any educational opportunities that became available. But after a few years of working in podiatry, the solutions to many of your patients problems become second nature. Exemplary patient care is central to any successful practice, and it’s a huge priority here at Milwaukee, but after about five years at my own practice, I realized that I was less in the foot business and more in the relationship business. It became clear to me early on that the stronger the personal relationship I built with people, the more they’d like and trust me. This may seem obvious, but there’s a difference between knowing a principle innately and actually taking steps to implement it into your business. It’s an idea that’s only been reinforced since then, and many mentors have provided me with invaluable advice on this topic throughout the years. For me, it all starts with just being myself. I make sure to be immediately personable and friendly to anyone who comes in to my office, making it clear that they have my full attention. The key is trust. If my patient knows that I’m being completely honest with them and that I’m not going to be overly aggressive with their treatment

options, they can relax, which makes it that much easier to work with them to resolve whatever issue might be causing them pain. Patients are especially wary of medical professionals who seem keen to prescribe surgery at the first sign of a problem. For all of us at Milwaukee, surgery is a last resort, not a Band-Aid solution. When you work actively to cultivate real relationships with your patients, they stick with you. I have a few people who have been visiting me for 25 years. One guy came in initially, around 40 years old, with a problem in his heel. I talked with him, figured out the specifics of his pain, made a diagnosis, and prescribed a pair of custom orthotics. Pretty soon, his feet were completely pain-free. When a different issue arose a few years down the road, he returned to my office and went through the process again. Again we resolved the issue with little trouble. He’s been coming back to our office with every new foot problem that arises for so long that by now, he’s not just my patient; he’s a personal friend. Everything is just so much easier when you’re genuine and up-front with the people you serve. I do everything I can so that, from the first time a patient calls our office, they feel like they’re part of the Milwaukee Foot and Ankle family. Dr. Chris Milkie

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