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
 

Does Your Spouse Have Selective Hearing?

I just love when my patients tell me they have “selective hearing” as if it is a real medical condition. Although the medical literature doesn’t recognize selective hearing as a condition, the Urban Dictionary defines it as the ability that humans have (mostly males) to selectively hear what serves their interests.
 
Patients will state that they “don’t have hearing loss” and that they can “hear what they want to hear”. Apparently, being deaf is a choice. They can turn it on and off like a light switch. People with “selective hearing” are in denial about the real problem – hearing loss.  
 
Twenty percent of adults (48 million) in the United States report some degree of hearing loss. At age 65, one in three adults with hearing loss are in the work force or in an educational setting. They have many excuses about why they can’t hear:
 

  • Women speak too softly
  • Their grand kids mumble
  • They can hear if you talk loud enough (you need to scream)
  • The TV is on too loud because no one speaks clearly anymore

 
Studies show that seniors are three times more likely to have a cosmetic procedure performed than seek treatment for hearing loss.  A hearing test is as popular as a colonoscopy when it comes to routine health checks.
 
Why are seniors in denial about their hearing loss?
 

  • They don’t think their hearing is bad enough to warrant hearing aids
  • It’s part of aging  and not life threatening, so it’s no big deal
  • They don’t want to look old
  • They lack trust in hearing aids because they know people who have had poor experiences.

 
Seniors don’t realize how much hearing loss adversely affects their quality of life.  It results in depression, isolation, anger, and cognitive decline. They avoid people they can’t hear and situations in which they can’t hear.
 
As an Otolaryngologist, wife, and mother, I find this denial concerning. Hearing loss needs to be identified and treated.  The stigma of hearing aids needs to be removed because they are helpful when fitted and adjusted properly. Modern hearing aids are small and discreet.  They are actually less noticeable than glasses!
 
If you know someone that who has “selective hearing”, urge them to see an Otolaryngologist and obtain a hearing test. The proper diagnosis and treatment plan, in addition to the right physician, can significantly improve their quality of life and yours.
 

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.