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Who is treating my veins?

There are an increasing number of medical professionals in the workforce these days. In fact,
mid-level providers like nurse practitioners or physician assistants can be found in many
medical offices, clinics, hospitals and extended care facilities. And medical assistants are often
tasked with roles that were previously the exclusive realm of registered nurses. While many of
these trained personnel are highly competent and skilled, none of them are as fully trained as a

So, while there is certainly a role for non-physician medical care givers in many settings, it has
fallen to the patients to be able to distinguish who is treating them. Unfortunately, some of
these providers try to give the impression that they are equivalent to the doctor, and thus it is
not necessary for the doctor to see the patient. For simple illnesses like the common cold or an
ear ache, as is often seen in a primary care office, this may be ok. But if you are going to a
specialist, and may need a procedure done, not seeing the physician or surgeon could lead to
bigger problems.

Over the past several years, many “vein clinics” have opened throughout the country, and
many of these are owned by non-physicians. The goal of these offices is to perform as many
procedures as possible. In some offices, the surgeon doesn’t ever see the patients and the mid-
level providers do all the evaluation and the surgical procedures on their own. (This is like
going to a fine restaurant only to find out that the busboy cooked your dinner, not the chef.) In
many cases, without a physician’s evaluation, the provider you see treats the ultrasound
findings, and doesn’t understand that there may be other things causing your symptoms. This
leads to unnecessary procedures and unnecessary complications.

If you have experienced this ‘bait and switch’ where you were referred to a vein surgeon and
then find that you never see the surgeon, nor is the surgeon the person actually treating you,
then you need to consider going to another office. At the Kimmel Institute, board-certified
cardiothoracic/vascular surgeon Dr. Richard Kimmel, will always see the patient and he does all
the vein procedures. Call for your evaluation and Experience the Difference!