Raul Carmenate was 16 years old when he became a Cuban political prisoner. Incarcerated for more than 10 years, he spent his prison time studying philosophy, sociology and psychology. When a release was negotiated, he moved to Florida, ultimately working in real estate in Miami.
Though he has put his past behind him, Mr. Carmenate, now 76, says those early life experiences left him skeptical of people in charge, and impressed upon him the importance of human relationships.
When he began experiencing back pain several years ago, he sought a doctor he could trust. “I am really very demanding of doctors. I spend time talking to them to determine each doctor’s dedication.”
He sought help at Optum – Red Road in Miami where he developed a good rapport with Dr. Jesus Menendez, who eventually retired. Though he was doubtful the new doctor – Dr. Solangel Pollock – would be as good a fit, Mr. Carmenate gave her a fair shot. Turns out, there was no need to worry, because from the very beginning, Dr. Pollock listened to him, was attentive and professional, and communicated clearly and directly with him.
According to Mr. Carmenate, Dr. Pollock helped alleviate his back pain with medication. Caused by compression of his lower vertebral discs, his back pain is now manageable. He credits her expertise, combined with her compassionate nature, for his successful treatment.
When he began experiencing symptoms of gastritis, Dr. Pollock once again came to the rescue, he said. “I was losing weight without trying and experiencing other symptoms,” he said. “Dr. Pollock prescribed medications and recommended that I see some specialists. I saw them, but the medications she had prescribed did the trick.”
Even during the throes of COVID-19, Dr. Pollock was always available, Mr. Carmenate said. He adds that the clinic’s staff makes visits easy and pleasant.
“I don’t go to a doctor to be pampered,” Mr. Carmenate said. “I want to be listened to and cared for. That’s exactly what Dr. Pollock does. Even under pressure, she is patient. She has become as much a friend as my physician.”
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