And something shaking up his day, well, this happens every day. “Patients [may be] late getting prior authorizations before treatment, [which] can definitely affect the schedule,” he says. “Seeing patients who’ve had falls can be a different process, but you adjust.”
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Explore This IssueJuly 2015
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Frustration sometimes enters as some evaluations lead Dr. Alvarez to surmise that a patient didn’t follow his instructions. But he also can find that one who’s in rhythm. “It often becomes easy to treat patients when you are both on the same page,” he says. “When both are committed, it’s such a rewarding feeling. It feels great. It feeds me.”
And if he ever needs one more reminder of why he does salsa, he could look to a fellow teacher—his fiancée, whom he just happened to meet at one of the classes he took. “I enjoy it so much when we go dancing together. It’s just a fantastic feeling for me. She’s a much a better dancer than me—I recognize that,” he laughs.
It often becomes easy to treat patients when you are both on the same page,’ —Dr. Alvarez.
His dancing lifestyle is instructive to his rheumatology treatment as well. Many of his patients still want to be active and, because he’s the same way, he finds it very easy to understand and encourage. “I want to try and help them keep doing the things they love,” he says. “It’s important to work on this together.”
There’s also a large amount of cooperation when it comes to a Cuban style of group dancing he’s presently focused on teaching. “I teach it with my fiancée,” he says. “I tend to focus on the leaders, and she focuses on the followers.”
Whether spending Sunday nights teaching steps of his heritage or tackling a dance card filled with patients, Dr. Alvarez clearly seems to enjoy keeping up with the beat of a rewarding life.
Eric Butterman is a Texas-based freelance writer. Contact him via e-mail at [email protected].