I chose Dr. Clayman. Here is my story.

In March 2015, I was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer. My first surgeon did a horrible job, and I went from being healthy and active to someone who was suffering from immense pain and severe limitations in my left shoulder. I am an occupational therapist (OT) and I teach yoga on the side. My left shoulder blade was frozen and I could barely lift my left arm 90 degrees. The pain was constant and excruciating. Everything had changed - sleeping was difficult, I had to have help getting dressed, driving to/from work was painful, and working as an OT was almost impossible. I sought assistance through acupuncture, a chiropractor, physical therapy, and I even drove hours to find someone who could perform myofascial release. My husband (who is also an OT) performed scapular mobilization on me. Emotionally, I struggled every single day.  It took me two years and lots of therapy to finally get some movement in my shoulder. It's not 100%, but it's enough to where I could manage life skills again.


Just when I thought everything was right again in my world, in April 2017, I found out that my cancer was back. I did not want to go back. I did not want to experience that pain again. As I was researching natural healing, I came across the Clayman Thyroid Cancer Center in Tampa, FL. I was surprised because it's rare that a cancer center is devoted to just the thyroid. That drew my interest. Then when I started to read about Dr. Clayman, I knew that I wanted him as my surgeon. I spoke with my husband and he quickly got on board. I filled out the new patient questionnaire and then a couple days later I got a call directly from Dr. Clayman. He called me on a Saturday afternoon to personally introduce himself, to hear about my situation, and answer my questions. I was pleasantly surprised because doctors do not normally do this.  I could tell from our first interaction that he honestly cared. He even gave me his direct email and phone number to contact him in case I had further questions.


I scheduled my surgery for August, 2017. During the summer, Dr. Clayman and I corresponded several times. He was always prompt in getting back to me and answered all of my questions (Note: His office staff were friendly, albeit not as efficient with their response time. However, once you get through the initial new patient registration hoops, everything really does run smoothly). I currently live in Oregon, but the distance wasn't really an issue.


In mid-August, my parents and I flew to Tampa as my husband couldn't get off work. Prior to arriving, Dr. Clayman's staff provided me with clear instructions on where to go for several pre-op tests. The day before the surgery, I met with Dr. Clayman who patiently explained to both me and my parents, what he planned to do and what to expect during and after the surgery. We all liked him immediately. His expertise comes through immediately in the manner in which he answered our questions and his thoroughness and caring disposition really calm our fears. My parents and I felt very confident in my upcoming surgery.


On surgery day, I met with Dr. Clayman again to go over my pre-op testing results and any last minute surgical logistics. Based on my test results and current condition as a result of my prior surgery, he recommended that my surgery be his last to allow sufficient time to address any issues he might encounter. At this time, I want to mention how awesome his surgical team is - from the pre-op to the post op.  My parents especially appreciated getting a phone call from his nurse every hour updating them on the status of the surgery.


Tampa General Hospital is a very good hospital. This was my first time here and it was a good experience. It's clean and customer service is top notch. Not one bad interaction - this goes for nurses to medical records department. Also, the cafeteria is excellent.


After my surgery, I requested a copy of my medical records. While I am an OT and do read medical records, I enlisted my mother-in-law, who is a surgical nurse. We spent two hours going through his report. It wasn't until our review, that I fully realized how good Dr. Clayman is. His documentation is very clear and surgical procedures precise. He did more for me than just remove cancer cells. He saw problems that needed to be fixed and he did them. For example, I had a tremendous amount of scar tissue from my previous surgery and he painstakingly went ahead to remove as much as he could. It's been almost three weeks since my surgery and I can happily say I have no new complications. Since my surgery, I have sent several emails to Dr. Clayman with additional questions. Not once did he seem defensive or upset, but rather took time to help me understand.


I 100% recommend Dr. Clayman. Finding a good surgeon is like finding a needle in a haystack, but finding a gem of a surgeon who deals specifically with thyroid cancer is a miracle. Dr. Clayman not only thought about my present, but my future as well and gave me the best chance for survival and a happy life.


One more thing, if you have financial difficulties, don't walk away thinking he is not an option. Dr. Clayman's staff will work with you.  He and his team are truly the best!