Dr. Rigamonti –
As a marathon runner who had the unfortunate experience of a skull fracture resulting in an eventual shunt, it was paramount to me to find the “best guy” around. I had three opinions, from the west coast to the east coast however, when I first met with Dr. Rigamonti, it became obvious to me that Dr. Rigamonti was “the guy.” Being a university professor, I have a tendency to look “behind the scenes” regarding expertise, continuing education/research and of course experience.
I had been familiar with Johns Hopkins, but it seemed exclusive and mysterious to me. My neighbor, a nurse anesthetist at Johns Hopkins, suggested I speak with the neurology department; specifically Dr. Rigamonti. I sent a rather lengthy email regarding my dilemma; full of non-medical and unprofessional questions and concerns: “Do I need a shunt….can’t you just drain the excess fluid….will I be able to run marathons again…” Within 24 hours, I had a phone call and an email from Dr. Rigamonti, “Professor Chilson, I would be happy to meet with you.”
Throughout our many face-to-face meetings, a spinal tap, and now a ventricular peritoneal shunt, Dr. Rigamonti has been the consummate professional and the ever-patient physician as I continue to hound him with expectations and questions. Not one question or email has ever gone unanswered or unacknowledged.
One need only look at his on-line resume to corroborate that he takes his profession and subsequent responsibilities very seriously and with a tremendous amount of pride. And as important, Dr. Rigamonti has a pleasant and humanitarian demeanor when dealing with his patients; especially an anxious, impatient and fearful “professor.”
The day of our first face-to-face meeting, I was driving in from Northern Virginia and had underestimated the traffic and time it would take to make the drive. To compound the delay, I was stopped by a police officer in downtown Baltimore. Arriving frazzled and almost an hour late for my MRI, I decided to go straight to Dr. Rigamonti’s office for my appointment, which was to have followed my MRI. Dr. Rigamonti patiently and calmly said, “Go back downstairs and get your MRI; I will wait for you.”
I’m running again, spending time gardening, and continuing my work as a university professor. It has become very apparent how fortunate I am to have Dr. Rigamonti as my neurosurgeon.