Tired of traditional talk? People pontificating about this or that? The left or the right? Sometimes the truth is just off lost in the noise. Having learned life lessons the hard way, Chuck Gallagher, international speaker and author, cuts through the noise to share truth through transparency!
Nationally-known guests talk about what’s important to you – your life, your concerns and your success. So tune in, turn on to Straight Talk with Chuck Gallagher.
Now, here’s your host, Chuck Gallagher. You can listen to the show with Tim Durkin here.
CHUCK: Well, let’s start off with this segment and this show with– It’s going to be something that I think most of you will want to really pay attention to because in reality something about this show is going to literally impact everybody that’s listening. Now, I want to start with a statement and I’m reading the statement from my guest’s website today, a highly recognized person in the healthcare industry, a gentleman by the name of Tim Durkin.
Tim says, “Healthcare has its challenges, but people shouldn’t be one of them.” I honestly absolutely subscribe to that concept. As I said when we started off, obviously if we’re sitting here and we’re thinking about the impact that healthcare has and the turmoil that healthcare, especially in the United States, is in, there is going to be something on this show that will impact everyone.
I also want to say, as we begin the program, Tim and I have an unusual connection. Not only is Tim an expert in healthcare, but he and I are, hmm, how do I want to put this, we are members of the same fraternity. Some of you might sit back and say, “Oh, he’s got a fraternity brother on,” but Tim and I have a lot of unique characteristics; neither one of us chose to be in this fraternity, neither one of us would have wanted to be in this fraternity, and yet both of us have found, like 230,000 other men this year in the United States, that we are survivors of prostate cancer. So, again, not only is Tim an expert in healthcare leadership training and an active speaker in the healthcare arena but Tim and I also both happen to be prostate cancer survivors.
So in this show we are going to intersperse healthcare, issues that deal with healthcare, not only from the perspective of we the consumers but, Gosh, if I’m in the medical profession, I’m facing some pretty significant challenges as well and sometimes it’s helpful to look at it from the other side of the street, so to speak. Tim and I will both be willing, since this is Straight Talk Radio, to be very straight and open and honest when it comes to the journey that we’ve experienced with prostate cancer. Tim, I want to welcome you to the show, thank you so much for joining me today.
TIM: You’re very welcome, Chuck, and it’s my pleasure, thank you very much for inviting me onto your show.
CHUCK: You wrote a book called Thriving on Change: Best Practices for Leading Better Practices. I look at that and I think about the title Thriving on Change and, good golly, both of us have experienced what it’s like to have personal physical changes in our life and we also know what it’s like in the marketplace today with all of the change taking place in healthcare. Before we deal with our issues, with prostate cancer and how that came about, and perhaps some of the things that people who are listening to this show really need to be aware of, let’s talk a little bit about where healthcare is today and some of the challenges that you and your clients are facing that we can kind of sink our teeth in.
TIM: Well, to answer where healthcare is today is probably best summed up by saying that it’s in a confused state and that’s a little bit unfortunate because one of the [05:09] of leadership is that confused people don’t move. Consequently, there’s a lot of inertia, there’s a lot of confusion on the part of people who are responsible for leading change in healthcare because they absolutely don’t know exactly what to do and what will change. Parts of the Affordable Care Act have been implemented, but a very large number of them haven’t been and will not be implemented until 2015 and beyond. The very premise of leadership is to show leadership and yet a lot of people by human nature don’t know exactly what to do so they end up doing nothing and that’s probably the worst thing that they can do at this point.
CHUCK: You know, Tim, when you sit back and you think about in 2014 where we are with healthcare, it is confusing so let me ask you a couple of questions and fire in there with your perspective and the perspective of the clients that you work with, but the whole concept of the Affordable Care Act kind of, I think, and by the way I may be wrong so since this is Straight Talk Radio, you can tell me, “Chuck, you’re wrong,” that’s absolutely no problem – but I think the concept was why don’t we bring the uninsured, younger group of people in this country into the insurance pool so that those of us, and I fall into the category of baby boomer, I’m 57 years old as we’re recording this, so that those of us who are older can receive the healthcare that ultimately we will need but it kind of balances? And if that was the premise, are we getting that today? Is the younger group of people migrating toward the Obama Affordable Care Act or they’re buying insurance or was it a pipe dream to think that was going to happen and they’re not motivated because they don’t think they’re going to get sick?
TIM: Well, since this is Straight Talk Radio, I will tell you that that was the stated intention, the stated goal, the stated premise and by and large it did not happen. The reason is, again, because human nature, that particular age group that you’re speaking of are called and well-known to be termed “the Invincibles”. When they were that young, and you and I were once that young–[Chuck chuckles]
TIM: … We didn’t really think in terms of contracting prostate cancer or anything else like that so there wasn’t a major concern of having healthcare coverage or being a participant in the healthcare system. So, the short answer is no and that money that was supposed to subsidize us boomers, because I’m slightly older than you are, that has not materialized and so that will continue to be a big drain as far as costs are on the system. The best way plans and premises did not materialize. Short answer.
CHUCK: You know, I heard as we were, I guess, moving at the end of 2013 into early 2014 and you would hear these radio shows and probably the larger media outlet saying, “X number of people have enrolled under the Affordable Care Act,” and it was in the hundreds of thousands, and I’m sitting there thinking, “Yeah, we’re a country of 300 million people,” so it was starting to sound like it was really a drop in the bucket. But in fairness I’m not going to say that there are some things I’m unhappy with, but in fairness if I happen not to be employed, I still can get insurance because under the Affordable Care Act my pre-existing condition or conditions aren’t counted against me. So, if it’s not counted against me but we’re not getting the people on the front side to subsidize it, effectively doesn’t that mean that the health insurance companies are going to lose money? Or make less? Maybe that’s the better way of putting it.
TIM: No, it’s not that they’re going to make less, it’s that they’re going to lose money from where I sit. The ones that were covered and there was a lot of publicity about the people that signed up and were covered, there’s two things to consider that a lot of people didn’t talk about is who became uncovered. An equal or greater number of people lost their insurance because of the rising rates or their insurability or their job situation. More importantly, just because they signed up for healthcare, it does not mean for health insurance that they pay their premiums and that is a big issue now because there are so many new people in the system. They have them seeking treatment. The insurance companies cannot tell the providers whether or not the people are covered but they are getting priority in the treatment anyway and what has been happening is the insurance companies said, “They didn’t pay their premiums or they weren’t covered for that particular procedure,” and they’re not reimbursing the providers and providers are less holding the bag, which is a very is a very large and a very heavy bag of money. That’s, again, one of the unattended consequences, I don’t think anyone saw that coming but it is the reality.
CHUCK: Let me say this and, Tim, again, correct me if I’m missing this, but I think for the folks that are listening, there’s three constituencies or three groups of people, and I really want us to be transparent about that. Number one, you’ve got the consumer. That would be you and me as individuals, and the question of do we have coverage? Are we covered? Pre-existing condition, an issue or not? That’s one group. The second group is the doctors, the healthcare providers, but I’ll make it easy for us – the doctors who provide service who would expect to be paid from my insurance provider. And the third is the insurance company, and I’m making very simple and I’m not reflecting on any particular company, but it could be UnitedHealthcare or Signal or Blue Cross Blue Shield or whomever the insurance company happens to be. What I just heard you say was, “Okay, I think as a consumer that I have coverage. I go to the doctor, the doctor provides the service and then the insurance company says, ‘Oh, Gosh, no and we don’t pay,’ which leaves the doctor holding the bag,” and that takes us to a break. Working with that concept, we’re here with Tim Durkin on Straight Talk Radio. We’re talking about healthcare in the United States and some of the real challenges we face in his new book Thriving on Change. Stick with us, we’ll be back. You won’t want to miss our next segment.[Commercial break]
CHUCK: This is Chuck Gallagher with Straight Talk Radio and my guest is Tim Durkin and we’re talking about healthcare. As I said as we began our show today that healthcare is one of those things that everyone listening to the show is going to be impacted by in some form or fashion. Right before we went to the break, I was going down this example and I want to kind of just replay it real quick at least as best I can, but we’ve got three constituencies. We’ve got you and I, Tim, as consumers, individuals as consumers, everyone that’s listening to this show. We’ve got the physicians, the doctors, the people who are involved, hospitals, etc, who are providing service to us as we need it. And we’ve got the insurance company who is purportedly the one receiving my premiums and therefore reimbursing the doctor. Right before the break music came up, I said, “If I think that I’m covered and I go to the doctor and the doctor provides service, and the insurance company says, ‘Oh, we’re so sorry, but Mr. Gallagher didn’t pay his premium. Or that particular service you provided is not covered. We don’t pay.’” That leaves the doctor holding the bag. They provided service for which the likelihood of getting paid is probably pretty slim, which seems to me that it’s skewed negatively toward the doctor because apparently the insurance company, if they don’t feel like paying, they’re not going to pay. Therefore, they don’t lose. Am I missing something or am I on target, Tim?
TIM: No, that’s exactly what’s happening. Not only is the doctor on the hook but the hospital is on the hook, or the clinic, or the practice that provided that service. It could have been an expensive operation, they could have used a very expensive technology like it was used on you and I on our adventure. All of these things the hospital or the providers are on the hook for in terms of cost. They have overnight stays for some of these patients.
By the way, the insurance company is not the villain here. The insurance company really didn’t know if that person was covered or not because they can’t process all of the new applications or they’re slowly building against that backlog. I believe I heard something last week that said that Blue Cross and Blue Shield in one particular area has brought on 7,000 people to manually deal with all of the new enrollees in their programs and they still haven’t caught up with the backlog yet.
CHUCK: It’s amazing to me and one of the companies that I’m associated with acquired another company this past year and we literally were pushing to the end of December and to early January just to get price quotes from insurance companies to find out what type of coverage we could offer our employees and how that would work. It’s mindboggling to think that we’ve had a law passed that is so dramatic in its change, and yet we seem to be so unprepared to handle the intended consequence, which is more people buying insurance to help spread, we’ll call it, medical load so to speak.
Now, Tim, you wrote a book called Thriving on Change, and obviously we’re in a dramatic period of change so I want to ask you two different questions. If you’re doing work in leadership training and you’re doing work with the medical practice, what are some of the things that you advise the medical practice in terms of effective leadership and better practices whenever we’re in this kind of state of flux?
TIM: That’s a great question and the answer would be consume the rest of this hour–[Chuck chuckles]
TIM: … And maybe a dozen more. But the short answer is, especially after practice level that many people who are running practices come from a clinical background, they were a nurse or they came from some form of clinical training. Then in the clinical training there was no leadership training for the most part. Yet they are running multi-million-dollar businesses with no leadership training and no people skills, if you will, and no training people skills. That’s sets up a bit of a problem there. Even at the hospital level you deal with people who are directors of nursing, charge nurses and so on. These people have no training with regard to how to handle and lead people. They have excellent clinical training but not again to the people skills. So have people to no fault of their own, quite unsure about how they handle the human or the people problems and challenges that arise.
The other is the mindset that the Affordable Care Act is, I believe, here to stay. It was implemented in my opinion a little bit too quickly. They were certain things that probably should have been [20:58] a little bit longer but nonetheless. However, what it has done is it created a disrupted environment and that’s going to call more for leadership than for management.
In my training and in my talk I always like to talk about the difference between managing and leading and why you should be conscious of what to do and when to do it. For example, it’s a compare and contrast, leaders provide lights to the people that work with and managers typically provide heat. So what I try to explain is that it isn’t all about getting people to do what you want when you want to do it, which is kind of a heat activity; it’s finding out a little bit about what needs to be done and then allowing the people to come up with the best way to do that within certain guidelines.
I’m a very big believer in Harriet Rubin’s quote which is, “Freedom is a bigger game than power. Power is about what you can control. Freedom is about what you can unleash.” I like to say that management is about the power, but leadership is about the freedom and I encourage people at the supervisory and director levels to think in terms of what is it they can unleash as opposed to what is it that they can control? Just having that mindset and that perspective relaxes things a little bit. That’s why I talk about thriving on change, not surviving on change. It’s a mindset and it’s how you set the table.
CHUCK: Tim, I’m going to say this, that’s really profound because you and I both, and we’ll talk about it in this next segment, but you and I both have gone through personal challenges dealing with issues of prostate cancer, neither of us chose that. It wasn’t as if we said, “Oh, boy, can’t wait to deal with that,” jokingly said. I’m a wuss when it comes to pain. I did not wish to lose body parts.[Tim chuckles]
CHUCK: I kept my tonsils, lost my prostate. I think I would have rather had that in reverse because at least I could have enjoyed the ice cream but nonetheless. The fact is so many times, and this is true in healthcare, it’s also true in accounting or engineering, hard skills, taught skills, taught professions law where you have specific things that you’re charged with doing and you’re really, really good at that, but most effective companies are companies that have those people who are great leaders. I’ll put it this way and this may be a really poor way to say this, but they may not be the best brain surgeon or they may not be the most effective cardiologist or ophthalmologist in terms of skill but a really, really well run organization is going to have a great leader that provides the direction and allows those people with those skills to perform those tasks without necessarily putting them in the position of saying, “Yeah, but you’ve got to run this business and deal with all of the business issues,” that they’re just not trained for.
TIM: Exactly, exactly. It’s a big issues and we continue to wrestle with it and people don’t leave organizations. The number one reason that people leave organizations is bad bosses. I think that we haven’t given our bosses enough of an opportunity to succeed. We worry about them failing when we should worry about them or let them succeed. And I think that, again, it’s a different mindset that we see. We are not procuring the people to do the job we’ve asked them to do and it’s no wonder that the things are even more chaotic at the practice level, at the human management level.
CHUCK: Now, Tim, before we go to our next break, I’ve referenced this a couple of times, you have a program or book, maybe I’m looking at this wrong but I guess it’s a 4 CD set called Thriving on Change. That really is focused predominantly in the healthcare arena. Is that right?
TIM: Well, yes, but the principles apply at any level. I was asked by a number of practices, large practices and medium sized practices and even some small practices who say, “Can you give my practice manager and my practice administrator some skills?” So I put together the total of two hours done in thirty-minute segments so that it can be done kind of in a brown-bag-lunch-time setting that outlines some of the things that not just the practice administrators but the employees themselves can talk about and what is the difference between leadership and management. Once everybody understands the four or five contrasting differences between leading and managing, they have a much better feel. That’s the goal of that, just to figure out some concrete examples. What to do when your [26:33] changes? Four things that we can talk about after the break. They’re not doing this than they’re undergoing a lot more pain than is necessary.
CHUCK: I’m going to be the first person to say this, we have this radio show called Straight Talk and I don’t mind having straight talk, but I do not like pain. I’ll specifically say physical pain is just not something that works for me, especially if it involves needles and so forth, but to make changes in an organization and to do so that creates the least amount of consternation or pain, at least puts us in a position to be able to make more effective decisions.
We’ve been talking about healthcare with Tim Durkin who is a healthcare leadership expert, but when we come back, I said at the beginning of this show Tim and I are members of the same fraternity, that is we are both prostate cancer survivors, so we’re going to go a little on the personal side and talk a little bit about our journey and what took place and perhaps what might be helpful to men who have been listening to this show and
because 230,00 men a year die from this. My name is Chuck Gallagher. This is Straight Talk Radio and my guest is Tim Durkin and we’ll be back in just a moment.[Commercial break]
CHUCK: This is Straight Talk Radio and my guest is Tim Durkin. He is a healthcare leadership expert. One of the foremost people in the country that deals with medical practices, hospitals, insurance companies, those that are involved in the healthcare challenge and debate today. Tim, I’m so happy to have you as a guest on the show. We’ve talked about a number of things and I know that you mentioned effective ways of dealing with change and we’re going to deal with that, but I want to take us down a different road.
Tim and I go back a number of years. I used to live in Dallas, Texas, and Tim and I initially connected with the National Speakers Association, the North Texas Chapter, that’s where we met. Soon after meeting I found out something about Tim and he found out something about me and that is both of us, not by choice, are members of the multi-million-plus fraternity in the United States of men who have survived prostate cancer. I think I can speak clearly for all men and that is I don’t know any one of us that asked or wanted that infliction, but yet it is something that is curable and it’s something that we can deal with, but there’s also a lot of things that people just don’t want to talk about. And men suck at talking about issues of prostate cancer unlike our female counterparts who will openly talk about breast cancer and their experiences and the emotional issues that take place. Tim, I have to say I’m very thankful that you’re willing to be open here on Straight Talk Radio and have straight talk about prostate cancer.
TIM: Well, it’s my pleasure actually, Chuck. Nobody likes to revisit that, but when we talked about dealing with change, I don’t think anything changes a man’s life quicker than a cancer diagnosis, especially when that diagnosis is prostate cancer because that strikes at, no pun intended, the root of men. Yeah, it works into the change, it works into our mutual adventure. You’re right, nobody wanted to be involved or belong to this fraternity that we belonged to, but we did and I think it has been one of the most rewarding experiences that I have ever had. I never would have said that before my diagnosis.
CHUCK: For those people that are listening here on the show, I’m going to kind of shrink this a little bit from my end. I am 57, but at age 47 quite by accident, I say, although I don’t believe there are any accidents, but quite by accident I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I had gone to the doctor and I wanted a pill that was called Propecia. It was designed to keep your hair from falling out and I was a bit vain and I wanted to hang on to mine as long as I could. I had a really quite beautiful doctor. She has green eyes and blond hair and she was just lovely and I’m so thankful my wife suggested that she become my family doctor and she said, “I don’t mind giving you the prescription, Chuck, as long as you get a blood test,” and, Tim, I hate blood tests.
CHUCK: But I guess my desire to keep my hair overweighed the pain of the needle. I took the blood test and a few days later I was on a speaking engagement up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I got a call from the doctor’s office and they said, “Your blood test results are back. Your PSA is a little high,” to which my response was, “What’s a PSA?” I had no clue. For most men that stands for prostate specific antigen and that is a measure of prostate activity and the potential to detect prostate cancer. I personally was directed to a urologist who did a prostate exam. Said, “I think everything is okay but we need to do a biopsy.” I asked, “Will it hurt?” He said, “No, not really. It’s just the sound that scares people.” All I could say, Tim, is that man lied.[Tim chuckles]
CHUCK: And I want to one day speak to a urology convention so I can share with them. “Give us drugs to take away the pain because that hurt.” Nonetheless– Go ahead.
TIM: I’m laughing because I know exactly what you’re talking about, and I will tell you, Chuck, unfortunately for you, they can actually deaden that area now before they do it. And if it’s not for that, then you scared off a bunch of men from going to get the potential test because, yes, there is a way to take it with anesthesia and I would make sure that my urologist did incorporate that if he expects me or anybody else to have a biopsy in that area.
TIM: If not, then go to another one. But, Chuck, I wanted to take–
CHUCK: Wait, Tim, before you go there, there’s going to be some quick takeaways. Takeaway number one, if I have a colonoscopy, they will put me out with Propofol. If you want a biopsy, tell them to put you out with Propofol. You won’t remember a thing and you will be much better. Now, Tim, go back to where you want to go.
TIM: Well, yeah, that’s a very good point. Here’s the key, you had mentioned it earlier, you alluded to it; it is early to [37:22] expose you and I had, even though I was weeks away from significant extension of metastasizing of the kind that I had. It’s the listeners of your show will only answer these two questions or if your listeners to the show happen to be women, I want you to ask this of every man in your life that is over 40. Not 50, over 40, because prostate cancer is an annoying habit now going to younger men. We’re not quite sure why, but it’s happening.
Here’s the two questions, I’ve got two questions for you. What is the mileage of your car or what is the mileage of your truck? Whatever. What’s the mileage of the vehicle you drive every day? And the men will be able to tell you probably within 100 miles or some of them will tell you the exact number. The second question that you ask is what is your PSA number? And they will look at you with that vacant look and say, “What do you mean? I don’t know.” That number, the PSA number, is far more important than the mileage of their vehicle. Yet, the very vast majority of men don’t know that number and the men that do know that number are people like you and I, Chuck. We know our number is undetectable, which is the word that we want to hear, but for the rest of us we need to know what the number is and we need to know how that number changes from year to year.
Now, the key point I want to make is a lot of people are saying the PSA test is not of value anymore. I strongly disagree with that, Straight Talk Radio. I strongly disagree with that because it is one of the best indications of a potential problem. You very clearly stated a high or an elevating number could indicate the presence of a potential problem, but it could be any one of a number of things. It is the red flag that the doctor and you need to start paying attention to over time.
CHUCK: Yeah, Tim, it’s so irritating. Both of us survivors of prostate cancer, but it is so freaking irritating when you hear these things, you see them on the computer, it pops up on the Internet, “Oh, don’t pay attention to the PSA, etc.” It’s like what a crock of crap. Look, there is a blood test that can potentially give you an early indication that there’s a problem so you can deal with it instead of having unrecoverable prostate cancer like the musician Dan Fogelberg who died from it. It is detectable and generally speaking treatable if it’s caught early on and there’s a blood test to check for it so it’s asinine for people to say, “Really, I wouldn’t worry about it.” If I didn’t worry about it, I likely would be dead today.
TIM: And the same with me. I was worried about it, my doctor became worried about it because my score had changed. It was still below what they considered the threshold, but my doctor spotted that it had gone from very low to moderately low by more than it’s desirable in a 12-month period. He goes, “I don’t particularly like that,” the term is ‘velocity’, “I don’t like the velocity there. I want to refer you to your urologist.” The urologist did a check and like your urologist he said, “I don’t think there’s a problem there. Do you have anybody else in your family that has prostate cancer?” I said, “As a matter of fact, my brother just had it last year.” He closed my file and said, “I’m scheduling you for a biopsy.” He would not have tested me as thoroughly, but he did because prostate cancer doesn’t go from father to son as much as it goes sibling, from brother to brother. It’s not like it goes, it’s not touchable. If one brother has it, then it’s very likely that there’s a 65-percent chance that the other brothers will have it also in a reasonably short time. It’s another red flag; if one brother has it, the other brother needs to be more vigilant.
CHUCK: Tim, you said, and I love the first question, there were two questions. You asked one, what’s the other?
TIM: Well, the one is what is the mileage of your vehicle? And they’ll tell you. And what is your PSA number? And, of course, most people won’t know that. So it’s really two questions, and they’ll look at you and say, “What’s a PSA?” “I don’t know, my wife knows,” and so on. It doesn’t matter if your wife knows. Gentlemen, we need to know it. We need to know our PSA number because it’s very important.
CHUCK: Let’s do this. Tim, you and I both had the same particular treatment at the outset. I have gone back for a second type of treatment, and we’ll talk about that in a minute, but you and I both had robotic surgery. We had surgical removal of our prostate and once the surgery was complete, both of us felt like we probably would live, we would not die of prostate cancer, bluntly put.
But, once that takes place, then the life of a man changes to a certain extend because the side effects of dealing with it potentially is urinary incontinence and loss of sexual function. I think most guys, I’m going to say this, Tim, you have experienced, you’ve talked to a lot of men as well, most guys probably eventually kind of deal with the incontinence and life returns to normal, but it certainly takes a bit longer for sexual function for men in many cases to return to normal. That’s probably the thing that is on most guys’ minds.
And of course, just as I say that, we get the music that says it’s time for a break. When we come back, Tim Durkin, my guest is going to talk with me just a little bit about dealing with prostate cancer following treatment and then we’re going to close with talking about change and dealing with change because Tim is a healthcare leadership and change management expert. This is Chuck Gallagher with Straight Talk Radio. Stick with us and we’ll be back right after this break.[Commercial break]
CHUCK: This is Chuck Gallagher with Straight Talk Radio and we’re back with my guest Tim Durkin who is a healthcare leadership training expert and also a member of the prostate cancer survivor fraternity. Both Tim and I experienced prostate cancer and the effects that follow that. As we were going into break, one of the things that I mentioned was once you’ve had a successful treatment protocol, whatever that protocol may be, typically, men face two issues. One issue is an issue of potential incontinence, and the other is the issue of loss or change of sexual function. I think probably most men get really wigged out about the second because whether we like it or not, we are human animals and a lot of a man’s definition of himself is a function of his sexual being, his sexual prowess. Certainly, a change with prostate cancer impacts that to some extent. Tim, I guess I want to throw it to you to say what do you hear from men when you have the opportunity to talk with them and what advice would you provide?
TIM: Well, thank you very much for bringing this up and certainly making this straight talk radio because this is something there’s a lot of misunderstanding, misapprehension and just [48:47] MITH. Here’s the reality, after most prostate cancer treatments, especially involving the removal of the prostate, there is a potential for incontinence. It is usually short-lived and clears up by itself over time as the muscles will get reformed that have been cut or damaged. That one goes away pretty quickly. The one that doesn’t and the one that is on most men’s mind is the problem of sexual impotence and how long does that last? Well, it varies on the person, and it varies on what kind of treatment they had, and it certainly varies on the surgery. Were the nerves spared and so on? But the very vast majority of people get full to nearly full recovery in about 12 months. Now, they’re not the fastest 12 months of your life, but the ability, if you will, comes back over time. I’ve had several friends who have recovered in three to five months and I’ve had a few that go a little bit longer, 12, 13, 14 months.
The greatest gift to the world, with regard to that recovery, is what I like to refer to as ‘sports medicine’, otherwise known as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. So you’ve got to get a nice prescription sports medicine from your doctor and don’t expect it to work right away, but what it does is it enlarges the blood vessels and allows knitting of the blood vessels to occur more quickly, because actually Viagra was designed for heart transplant patients. It was designed to get the blood vessels to knit more quickly. It didn’t work very well in that particular application but most of the heart transplant patients reported, how shall I delicately say, other side effects and thus became the erectile dysfunction cure.
CHUCK: Yeah, it’s kind of funny to hear the story of Viagra, and that’s true with so many things. You create something for one application and you find out, “Gee, it didn’t work,” like the sticky stuff on Post-it notes. Didn’t really work, it wasn’t a good adhesive but it sure does great on a Post-it® note. One of the things that I think is really important to talk about whenever you’re dealing with the issue of erectile function is what you expect and the support that you get from people who are connected with you. I remember my doctor saying to me, and he was very clear and very blunt and this is Straight Talk Radio and this is not offensive but it is very clear. He said, “Look,” he said, “in order for you to regain erections, you are going to have to rehabilitate yourself.” And he said, “If you had a knee replacement, you would go to rehab.” He said, “So in this case you’ve had a major change in your body and so effectively you have to go to rehab.” And no offense to anybody listening to this, but if you don’t use it, you will lose it, and that is true with our muscles or any other part of our body.
It’s critically important, and I think, Tim, you hit it well, you take advantage of treatment protocols that are available, whether it’s drugs or whether it’s vacuum pumps or other options that may be available, but realize it is for most people a temporary situation and that for most of us we will return to fundamentally life as normal. The only thing that I guess, Tim, I had a rude awakening with is at 57 I am not 17 and I never would have been, so I also have to re-gage my mindset on what to expect when change happens.
TIM: Yeah, there are some changes there and there are some mental changes that we need to go through, but as far as the rehabilitation at time of the erectile dysfunction, a lot of people say, “Oh, that’s not for me.” Well, my only question is would you rather have a year off, to be blunt, or would you rather be dead? Would you rather have a long, slow, simmering, difficult passing? Because that’s about the only alternative you’ve got to that if you don’t get treatment, either through surgery, radiation or some hormone treatment, whatever.
CHUCK: To be real clear, and do want to get to the issue of change but, Tim, you’re absolutely right on, and the funny part, and I don’t mean “ha-ha” funny, but the ironic part is those men that will say, “I am not going to have my PSA taken, I am not going to get checked because I don’t want to have erectile dysfunction,” well, if you end up with the long, slow, painful death, you’re going to have a long period of erectile dysfunction just dealing with the fact that you are dying from prostate cancer. So there is a point at which you have to be practical and I think, Tim, you and I both would stand on the top of a mountain and asked all men to be checked since it is a treatable disease.
TIM: It is treatable and it is the number one cancer now outside a skin cancer, which is also interesting because it only affects one gender.
CHUCK: Tim, I know we’re pushing some time here, but when we first started talking in this show, we were talking about your work in the healthcare and the quote that you have, which is, “Healthcare has its challenges, but people shouldn’t be one of them.” So, you wrote this book and created a CD presentation called Thriving on Change. What advice would you provide our listeners who are dealing with implementing change?
TIM: I’ll make it very quick, but despite the quickness it’s still sounded by. There are four Rs that person in charge of change needs to make sure that the people that are going through the change need to understand.
Number one is the reason. Tell the people the why. It’s the second biggest question that people have in their mind so when you announce change, you announce why we are going to have this change.
The second R is the result which is code for paint a picture of what the change will look like when it’s successfully done. Tell them about how easy it’s going to be, or how different it’s going to be, or how much more efficient it’s going to be, how much less cost it will be, how much less headache and so on it will be. So, tell them the result. Now, you’ve given them the reason, you’ve told them the result.
The third question and the third R is the route, which is how is going to happen? Who’s going to be affected first? What is the timeline and time frame for the change? Because people want to know when they will be directly impacted by the change.
And the fourth R is actually the most important R of all. It answers the question what’s in it for me? That R is role. What is the role that you expect or you need for those people to play during the time of change? You may have it clear, you may not have it clear, and if you don’t have it clear, tell them it’s not clear now, but your role would be to kind of support the effort. That’s it, it’s just four Rs.
CHUCK: Tim, you have perfect timing. This is Chuck Gallagher with Straight Talk Radio and my guest has been Tim Durkin. Time is an expert in healthcare leadership, training and change management. Tim, thank you for the reason, the result–
TIM: Oh, it’s my pleasure.
CHUCK: … The route and the role. I am so excited to have you as a guest on the show. It has been my honor and privilege and my brother as a [57:19] on this role of prostate cancer survivor. I thank you for your leadership and for your friendship. Thanks, Tim.
TIM: It’s my pleasure, Chuck. Talk to you soon.
CHUCK: All right, for those folks that are listening on Straight Talk Radio, this is Chuck Gallagher. This has been a healthcare program and stick with us next week when we’ll have more exciting guests and some really interesting things to talk about. This is Chuck Gallagher with Straight Talk Radio and remember, every choice has a consequence.
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