The Entrepreneurial Life Chose Me

I was trained  to be an Ear, Nose, and Throat physician, but the life of an entrepreneur chose me.
 
My employee mindset changed as a result of an interview during residency. The interview was with a private practice physician, who I had known during my training. He had first-hand knowledge of my assets as a physician: surgical skill, sound judgment, physician-patient rapport and superb communication skills. Despite my positive attributes, his job offer for my annual salary was significantly less than the price of the Porsche 911 he was driving and much less than the MGMA (Medical Group Management Association) standard for physician compensation. MGMA is the resource leader for healthcare salary compensation.
 
This experience left me baffled and humiliated but I realized something very important… I didn’t have the employee mindset that most physicians do.  I wanted the freedom  to create and design my own practice and there was no reason I couldn’t do that. I thrived on risk to experience a greater reward. I despise rules, structure and predictability. I wanted to change the world, not just have a job. Failures in my mind were setbacks and an opportunity to learn. Despite all the challenges I have faced over the years, starting my own practice was the best decision of my life. I was able to build a team and office culture of stellar employees.  I was able to tailor my practice to the aspects of ENT that I enjoyed most – minimally invasive procedures to treat chronic sinusitis and improve nasal obstruction. My patients are so thankful to be offered minimally invasive solutions to avoid the downtime, healing, and expense of more aggressive surgical alternatives.
 
Once my ENT practice was successful, my next venture was adding a Medical Spa to my practice. So many patients would not consider cosmetic rejuvenation procedures because of artificial and unnatural looking results. My goal was to achieve a well- rested youthful appearance without the obvious tell-tale signs that a procedure was performed. This difference in approach allowed me to attract patients that were looking for intervention that appeared natural, not artificial.
 
Things were going so well for me until I was diagnosed and treated for Thyroid cancer at the age of 34.  I had surgery to remove my entire thyroid gland and I had radioactive iodine treatment. Because the exact cause of thyroid cancer is unknown, I suspected that my diet and choice of personal care products I used could be a contributing factor.  I decided to detox my life by eating better quality food and avoiding pesticides. I reviewed my personal care products that I was using; like shampoos, lotions, deodorants; and eliminated chemicals as much as possible.
 
I reviewed the ingredients in the skin care products I was recommending to my Medical Spa clients and I was appalled that some products didn’t clearly list their ingredients and all of them contained chemicals that I didn’t approve of.  I was appalled when I found out that there is no federal regulation of ingredients to protect the consumer from dangerous chemicals.
 
From my frustration with the cosmetic industry, my next entrepreneurial venture was born.
 
I set out to create a skincare line that addressed common anti-aging issues such as dark spots, loss of elasticity, blemishes and more. The ingredients would be plant and mineral based, contain no harsh ingredients or chemical preservatives. The ingredients needed to work synergistically to provide superior results. KalVera Skincare was created to provide consumers with healthy skin care and to support my mission to educate consumers about hazardous ingredients found in personal care products and empower them to make safer choices.
 
My journey as an Entrepreneur has been euphoric but it is not the lifestyle for everyone. Entrepreneurship is often a lonely, risky, anxiety-provoking and ever humbling expedition. It can also be addictive. Although KalVera Skincare is my most recent creation, I doubt it will be my last entrepreneurial endeavor.
 
*Cheers*
-Dr. D
 

That Smell!

Breakfast on the griddle, jasmine in the garden, your lover’s favorite perfume – No doubt each of these conjure a particularly pleasing emotion. After all, our sense of smell, more than any of the other senses, is psychologically linked with memory and can have a profound effect on the ways in which we connect with the world around us.
 
Common Reasons for Olfactory Loss
So, imagine for a moment, that you’ve lost your sense of smell. Scary, isn’t it? Unfortunately, it’s an all-too-common occurrence. Among the top direct or indirect contributing factors to a partial or full loss of the ability to smell are:
 

  • Nasal obstruction
  • Degenerative nerve disease
  • Exposure to hazardous chemicals, such as pesticides or solvents
  • Head and neck cancers and related radiation treatments
  • Chronic respiratory infections
  • Oral disease
  • Radiation therapy
  • Dementia, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s
  • Traumatic head injuries
  • Hormonal disturbances
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Certain medications or drug abuse
  • Advanced age

 
Dangers of Olfactory Loss
Any of these conditions can negatively affect the functionality of not only our olfactory nerve cells (those responsible for your sense of smell) but also your gustatory nerve cells (those responsible for taste). That loss of functionality can affect not only your quality of life, but your safety, and perhaps your very life, as well. For example, the smell of certain gasses, smoke, or spoiled foods can alert us to danger, allowing us to act before it’s too late. And, research on the psychology of smell shows that body odor, produced by the genes which make up our immune system, can help us subconsciously choose our life partners.
 
While most people would report a loss of sight or hearing as a top worry, it’s clear that the loss of smell is a far underestimated misfortune. Fortunately, however, help is available.
 
Treatment Options
If you suspect you’re beginning to lose your sense of smell, a highly-trained otolaryngologist can perform a thorough examination of your head and neck to pinpoint signs of infections, inflammation, or physical obstruction that may be affecting your sense of smell or taste. Treatment options may include prescription or over-the-counter medications, including decongestants or antibiotics, or surgery to remove nasal polyps or other obstructions.
 

5 Most Common Allergy Triggers

Statistics show that some 20 percent of people develop allergies of some sort. Allergic reactions develop when the immune system overreacts to an otherwise harmless antigen, resulting in a range of symptoms from sneezing to hives to life-threatening anaphylaxis. While potential allergens are innumerable, there are a few common culprits.
 

  1. Pollen: Multiple varieties of trees, grasses, weeds, and flowers produce pollen that can trigger hay fever or seasonal allergies. Most result in irritating, but non-life-threatening reactions like sneezing, runny nose, and watery or itchy eyes.
  2. Pet Dander: The physical and emotional health benefits of owning a pet are countless, but life with Fido and Fluffy can be tough if you suffer from allergies. That’s because of pet dander, a protein mix secreted in an animal’s skin and saliva that can trigger allergic reactions.
  3. Dust Mites: You can’t see them, but you sure can feel the effects of their presence if you’re prone to allergies. These microscopic buggers live in house dust and feed on pollen, fungi, bacteria, and dead skin that naturally falls from humans and animals daily.
  4. Insect Stings and Bites: Stings and bites by honeybees, yellow jackets, hornets, wasps, and fire ants can cause mild to severe allergic reactions, including swelling of the face, mouth, tongue, and throat, as well as, difficulty breathing and low blood pressure, itching and hives.
  5. Molds: Multiple types of molds can grow in persistently damp or wet areas, like bathrooms and basements, that lack adequate ventilation.

 
 

 
Other common allergens include certain foods and medications, latex, fragrances, and – believe it or not – cockroaches. Many allergic reactions can be avoided by keeping your home clean and dust-free, using a home air filtration system, changing your air conditioning filters regularly, clearing your home of dust collectors like stuffed animals and certain types of carpet, and bathing your pet regularly.

Dr. Kalpana DePasquale announces formal affiliation with St. Vincent’s Medical Center Southside

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – January 7, 2016 – Dr. Kalpana DePasquale, DO and founder of St. Augustine Ear, Nose & Throat  and Avanti Medical Spa has formally announced her affiliation to perform surgery at St. Vincent’s Medical Center Southside, 4201 Belfort Road in Jacksonville, Fla. She is also affiliated to perform surgery at Jacksonville Surgery Center, 7021 A C Skinner Parkway and Baptist Medical Center South, 14550 Old St. Augustine Rd.
Dr. DePasquale has been practicing as a specialist in ear, nose and throat (ENT) medicine since 2003 and is board certified in Otolaryngology and facial plastic surgery. Dr. DePasquale is focused on the complexities of the head and neck anatomy, medicine and surgery for patients of all ages. Currently, Dr. DePasquale is located at 1301 Plantation Island Drive S., Suite 401 in St. Augustine, Fla.
“We are continuing to expand our patient base in St. Johns County and Jacksonville. The new relationship with St. Vincent’s will better serve our patients by performing highly-specialized ENT surgeries in the Southside area of Jacksonville,” said Dr. DePasquale.
Dr. DePasquale and her team of medical professionals include Matthew Giles, PA-C, who will be a new, key member of the staff and will assist with ear, nose and throat (ENT) patients in office care and surgery. For more information, call 904-461-6060.
Visit the websites at www.saent.net, www.avantimedspa.net and http://shop.avantimedspa.net/.
This article originally appeared in The Florida Times Union and can be viewed at Jacksonville.com.

Dr. Kalpana DePasquale Advises Parents and Teens about Hearing Loss and Listening Devices

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – December 12, 2014 – Dr. Kalpana DePasquale, DO and founder of St. Augustine Ear, Nose & Throat and Avanti Medical Spa, advises parents to let their children know about hearing loss due to high-volume listening devices. “When it comes to listening, having a teenager can be similar to having a two year old.  However, it’s often unclear if they are just not listening or if they can’t hear you,” said Dr. DePasquale.
According to Dr. DePasquale, even young children, pre-teens and teens who are from the digital generation may be susceptible to hearing loss because of high-decibel sound through the Internet and portable electronic devices.  “Many communications devices that function as phones, music players, cameras, are now increasingly affordable and accessible to more children and teens. Youth clothing is even designed to be fitted with electronic devices and headphones,” she said. “One in five teens will experience hearing loss. And, the number is 30 percent higher than it was in the 1980s and 1990s due to the widespread use of headphones and high decibel ranges.”
“Parents need to inform their teens about noise exposure and how it’s linked to hearing loss.  Young people must understand that noise induced hearing loss can be prevented. However, once the young person is diagnosed with hearing loss, it is irreversible,” said Dr. DePasquale.  “Hearing can be amplified with a hearing aid, but there is no cure,” she said.  
Teens with hearing loss may often complain of muffled sounds. They also may listen to the TV or radio at a higher volume and often have difficulty understanding speech. There may also be ringing, roaring, hissing or buzzing in the ear which is called tinnitus.  Dr. DePasquale recommends that teens with these symptoms should see an Otolaryngologist or ear, nose and throat physician for a hearing evaluation which is the most effective method to identify a hearing problem.  
Dr. DePasquale suggests young people use the older-style headphones that are placed over the ears to preserve healthy hearing. This is preferred to the earbuds that sit at the entrance of the ear canal.  “There is a helpful 60/60 rule that states the maximum duration of volume that is greater than 60 percent of the maximum volume should be 60 minutes,” said Dr. DePasquale.  “Volumes higher than 85 decibels can cause hearing damage and high-pitched sounds can cause damage more easily than lower pitched sounds,” she said. “For example, the iPod has a setting for volume limits that can be adjusted to 60 percent. Also, teens should be instructed not to sleep wearing earbuds.”
During the holiday season, many teens will have headphones on their gift list.  They’ll be able to enjoy hearing the music they love for many more years to come if parents use this opportunity to educate their children about hearing protection and hearing loss. For more information, call 904-461-6060 or visit the website at www.saent.net.

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Dr. Kalpana DePasquale is the founding physician at St. Augustine Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC and Avanti Medical Spa, LLC. She has been practicing as a specialist in ear, nose and throat (ENT) medicine since 2003 and is board certified in Otolaryngology and facial plastic surgery. Dr. DePasquale is focused on the complexities of the head and neck anatomy, medicine and surgery for patients of all ages.
At Avanti Medical Spa, Dr. DePasquale has in-depth knowledge of facial aesthetics and performs non-invasive cosmetic procedures with rejuvenating facial treatments, non-invasive skin tightening and skin resurfacing with additional services. She recently developed Avanti Rx, a physician-formulated proprietary skin care line for men and women that utilizes medical grade quality ingredients and botanicals.  The main practice is located at 1301 Plantation Island Drive S., Suite 401 in St. Augustine. For more information, call 904.461.6060. Visit the websites at www.saent.net and www.avantimedspa.net.

Dr. Kalpana DePasquale to hold public lecture on treating chronic sinusitis with Balloon Sinuplasty™ – Oct. 15

 
St. Augustine, Fla. – October 15, 2013 – Dr. Kalpana DePasquale, DO and founder of St. Augustine Ear, Nose & Throat and Avanti Medical Spa, will host an outreach program and interactive lecture to educate patients and the community about professional otolaryngology, ear, nose, and throat care, and her specialization in Balloon Sinuplasty™. The in-depth discussion will address the latest innovations in treating chronic sinusitis for those with sinus disease and sinusitis.
The event will be held on Tuesday, October 15 at 6 pm in the Osceola Conference Room at Flagler Hospital, 400 Health Park Blvd. in St. Augustine. The talk is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
Dr. DePasquale is one of the leading physicians in northeast Florida who performs the specialized Balloon Sinuplasty™ procedure as an effective way to treat patients. She has demonstrated its use with other ear, nose, and throat doctors and physicians, including allergists and pulmonologists and family and private practice physicians along with others from diverse medical backgrounds.
She also participates each year as a faculty member at The Sinus Forum, a conference-style event held in a variety of locations that brings together otolaryngologists from across the nation. Dr. DePasquale presents at the conference as a course discussant.
“Patients with chronic sinusitis have a common medical ailment. They can suffer from reduced quality of life and reduced productivity and they may also experience pain and discomfort in and around the face due to narrow, inflamed, or swollen nasal passages,” said Dr. DePasquale. “A myriad of treatments are available to treat the malady, but Balloon Sinuplasty can save our patient’s time, money, and relief from pain due to surgery.”  
Balloon Sinuplasty is a minimally-invasive procedure with endoscopic technology and durable tools and equipment that accomplish the same results as traditional surgery without the requirements of an incision. Specifically, a small tube is inserted into and guided along the nasal cavity until the source of the blockage is determined. Then, a smaller catheter glides along the walls of the cavity and inflates to open the passageway with a new opening that is resilient and long-lasting. For more information, call 904.461.6060. Visit the website at www.avantimedspa.net and www.saent.net.
Dr. DePasquale is the founding physician at St. Augustine Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC and Avanti Medical Spa, LLC. She has been practicing as a specialist in ear, nose and throat (ENT) medicine since 2003 and is board certified in Otolaryngology. Dr. DePasquale is focused on the complexities of the head and neck anatomy, medicine and surgery for patients of all ages. At Avanti Medical Spa, Dr. DePasquale has in-depth knowledge of facial aesthetics and performs non-invasive cosmetic procedures with rejuvenating facial treatments, non-invasive skin tightening and skin resurfacing with additional services including Visia Skin Analysis, Thermage, Botox, Dermal Fillers, and Isolaz IPL, among others. She recently developed Avanti Rx, a physician-formulated proprietary skin care line for men and women that utilizes medical grade quality ingredients and botanicals.