We had the good fortune of connecting with Suzanne Slonim and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Suzanne, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
America is in the midst of a public health crisis. Uterine fibroids affect an estimated 26 million women between the ages of 15 and 50, across all racial backgrounds and socioeconomic levels in the United States. African American women’s fibroids tend to start earlier, grow larger and faster, are more likely to be numerous, have a higher propensity of causing symptoms that ultimately require intervention and often surgery. Due to the disparity of healthcare, Black American women are more likely to have received suboptimal care through the years, have a poorer state of health, or have delayed diagnosis of fibroids. When an African American woman has fibroid surgery, she is three times more likely to require a blood transfusion and faces fatal consequences more often than other ethnic communities. Uterine fibroids have a significant impact on the quality of life for women – they can be exceedingly painful, debilitating, and as evidence proves, a matter of life and death. The need to educate people may appear daunting, but it is not insurmountable. I have seen the impact that my small practice is making, and by building the awareness about and providing treatment for uterine fibroids, I know that every year, more women’s lives will improve exponentially. With my experience and expertise, I am in a unique position to amplify this often overlooked and under-addressed chronic medical problem. Through the Fibroid Institute Dallas I’ve found an exciting vehicle for me to have an impact on my community AND the world.
Please tell us more about your work. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges?
The short answer to your question, no, it was not easy. I think a more appropriate word would be “challenging.” An entrepreneur – or in this case, a “doctorpreneur” – launches an idea with relentless enthusiasm thinking that once a viable solution to a problem is presented, patients and referring doctors will be all over it! But things don’t always turn out the way you plan… When the Fibroid Institute Dallas (FID) got started we thought the best strategy to build the business was to focus on marketing directly to prospective patients through radio ads, social media, health fairs, social events and community events. Poised to treat patients lining up at the door, we found our appointment book filled with empty spaces. Although we opened in March, I didn’t get my first case until May. I went nine months without pay and had days when 8 to10 patients didn’t show up. After falling short of our expectations, the FID team experimented with other marketing ideas and discovered that a much more effective approach would be to build trusted relationships with the medical community of OB/GYNs. That’s when the momentum of patients coming in for a procedure began to build. The referring doctors recognized that we were a strategic partner that provided exceptional care for their patients. We grew from 47 women treated the first year to 300+ projected for this year, despite the pandemic. Our relationships with OB/Gyns grew from three referring docs to over 200. And the most rewarding aspect of our endeavor is that 1000’s of women have learned how to fight their fibroids and get their lives back. There were more than a few roadblocks, but with my team’s patience, creativity, flexibility, and persistence, we overcame them and got on the road to success.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There are so many interesting and fun things to do and places to see in Dallas that I would need a lot more than a week to fit all of it in. That said, if we weren’t in the midst of a pandemic, I would start by mapping out meals at some of my favorite hangouts – Lucky’s Cafe and Cindi’s Deli for breakfast, Eatzi’s and Maple Leaf Diner for lunch and then head into a strong finish with a steak at Bob’s and sushi at Oishi. In between meals we would do some serious window shopping in Bishop Arts, get some exercise kayaking at White Rock Lake, and taking a walk on the Katy Trail. Then we would swing by Top Pot Donuts (we have to get a snack in there somewhere along the line, right?) and then drive through an array of neighborhoods – from Turtle Creek to Deep Ellum to Oak Cliff – to experience the diversity this town offers. And although I don’t have a dog (but I do have chickens) a visit to one of our dog parks is a “must” on our itinerary! Of course, we would visit iconic sites including the 6th Floor Museum, the Perot Museum, and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. And depending on the season, we would either go to a high energy WNBA game – GO WINGS! – or take a horse-drawn carriage through Highland Park to see holiday lights. Last but definitely not least, woven into all these activities would be my favorite thing about living in Dallas, which is visiting my eclectic group of friends who love living in this small town/big city as much as I do.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My parents have been my lifelong role models and inspiration. Both of them were doctors, so when I asked them about the relatively unknown field of interventional radiology and they encouraged me to explore it, I met their challenge and haven’t regretted a moment since. I’ve been able to weave their ethic of the kindness and compassion of an “old school family doctor” with the use of the latest technology to provide care to my patients. It’s a combination that works.
Other: To schedule a consultation appointment call 214-838-6440 or https://www.fibroidfree.com/appointment/ or to get a copy of Pain-Free Periods by Dr. Slonim https://www.fibroidfree.com/pain-free-periods-book