UPMC Mercy Voice Center/Dr. Libby J. Smith

12 Dec

Dr. Libby J. Smith DO

UPMC Mercy Voice Center

University Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists — Mercy Hospital

Building D, Suite 2100

1400 Locust Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

412-232-3687

What type of medicine does the provider practice?        

Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose, Throat) Specific to Voice Issues

Would you recommend this provider to others?              

 Yes, absolutely.

When was your last visit with the provider          

0-5 months ago.

Why did/do you see this provider?         

 Breathing, speaking, swallowing issues due to unilateral vocal fold paralysis after nerve damage from thyroid cancer surgery.

What was/is your experience making an appointment with this provider?           

My surgeon made the first appointment and other appointments are kind of hard to make unless you make them at the office because UPMC’s system often redirects people to the call center and the call center is really confused about ENTs because there are so many sub specialties. Best ways to get an appointment- message the office through the myupmc.com portal, have your doctor call, or make an appt in person

Was/is the provider affordable?              

UPMC for You Medicaid has me covered but proceed with caution due to all of the feuding.

Please describe your experience with the provider.       

I had to have multiple tests done that were either really uncomfortable or painful including a scope through my nose and down my throat and 2 EMGs where wires were stuck in my neck to test nerve function. Dr. Smith is very direct which I REALLY appreciate. Some doctors had been downplaying the severity of this complication- assuring me everything was fine (when none of it is) and she is just straight up honest. Your nerve doesn’t work and there is only a 5% chance it ever will again.

Even though she is direct she is still really kind and caring. She has to either be family (LGBTQ) or have loved ones who are. She has been kind about trans stuff (though she randomly started using different pronouns at my last visit, but I think it’s because staff was switching them around during my last EMG and that sucked). She lets me ask a million questions and she really knows her stuff. She also gave me a bunch of options and really seemed to believe that my choices were important and the best for me to make.

TL;DR: Direct, honest, caring, intelligent, and helpful with really uncomfortable testing procedures.

 Please describe your experience with the provider’s support staff (if applicable).            

There are a lot of residents, students, and researchers in this place so there are often a LOT of people in the room at times which can be intimidating. I like being part of teaching and research because I am a weird person with a complicated case and I hope it will help future people with complicated struggles. But, it can be tough when there are more people and more possibilities for them to mess everything up.

One of her residents was the first doctor to ever ask my preferred pronouns, the nursing staff is SO KIND and comforting. The front desk staff is nice (but usually busy it’s a busy office.)

What identities do you have?    

Trans (read as different genders all the time), Queer, DFAB, disabled and unable to work, mid-30s, chubby, poor, white, very small support system.

What can you share about this provider’s identities and/or the practice’s affiliations that may be important to their clients?               

They have a transgender specific vocal and respiratory therapist and while I never really wanted vocal coaching for trans issues, they have scheduled me with her which is nice; they know what trans people are but I’m not sure how educated the staff is on the whole aside from being nice, people with a LOT of different medical issues come there and a variety of ages and abilities       White, female, DO, maybe lgbtq- knowledgeable about trans/queer stuff, most of the staff was white people though.

What did you observe or experience about the accessibility of the practice?       

 Mercy hospital has free parking for the 1st 3 hours, most doors, including many restroom doors, are sensor operated and automatic, elevators are accessible, it is a religious hospital but no one has confronted me with anything religious aside from there being some jesus pics in the hallway, the doors to the voice center office are NOT automatic unfortunately, it is not a super far walk from the garage elevator, to the hallway, to the elevator in the hospital, to the office.

Mercy hospital is on Forbes ave bus lines.

I am not sure about language, Deaf/Hoh accessibility.

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