Voice Diagnostix

The Barest of the Minimums = Success.

Voice Diagnostix
The Barest of the Minimums = Success.

If we all did the bare minimum, there would be no competition. Unless I was betting on who could be the barest of the minimums. But is that superlative irony? There would be no striving for excellence. There would be no "for the greater good." If we were seeking the bare minimum, there would be no reason to go the extra mile or brighten someone's day, to do right by someone, or to provide the best care.

If the bare minimum was all that was done, we would find it very easy to scoot through life. There might not be as many fights over money, as everyone would make the bare minimum. No one would feel the drive or that fire to be better than their parents or provide a life better than their own for their children. Good morning, will it be a great day? Nope, every day is just the bare minimum. Your eulogy was unforgettable because it included all the things that made you special? Try, "Here lies Edith: She did the bare minimum." 

There would be no excitement, or deviation from routine to spice things up or to keep us guessing. Nothing would serve to motivate us to follow our passions, to better humanity or to create leaders. No one would be inspiring. No one would feel inspired. The bare minimum of school course work would be all expected, no more and no less. A+ honor roll? Forget it. C's all day, since it's the bare minimum. 

Something's wrong with your car, you get the engine fixed, but the fix might only last a few days because the shop guarantees the bare minimum! Going to the doctor, you know that he did the bare minimum of internships, observations and practice and here's hoping you get a proper diagnosis. Cancer possibility? Bare minimum of expertise at your service.

My problem with the bare minimum is this: It is the easy way out,  but everyone loses. You lose because there is no challenge, no self-fulfillment, no wholeness that you might get for being better than you were yesterday. Patients lose because providers cut corners and complete just enough diagnostic testing for the money they want to pay, when the proper solution was depending on a complete evaluation. 

Doing the bare minimum, you're not stressed to balance work and life, because everything is planned for in your day and you can do it in a proper amount of time because nothing extra is expected. Don't worry, you have PLENTY of time to do your bare minimum.

When you ask me, as a healthcare provider, what it would take to "get your foot in my door" to ask my opinion of your condition, please understand why I can't cut you a deal on a minimal evaluation. There is no minimum evaluation. In good conscious, I must determine with all the knowledge I possess, what I think is wrong with you with the information and data I gather. That is what is fair to you. If I were seeking treatment, you bet your bottom I would want the same thing! I worked countless hours going above and beyond the bare minimum so I can be the best in my craft. It makes me whole to know I can give you the answers you need, and admit when I need to consult or defer. I sacrificed then, and I sacrifice now----Family time....Income....Me time....My own sanity... to make sure you are taken care of. When I end my day, I want to know that I did everything in my power to make sure you were taken care of because it is my choice in life to serve you.  

I cannot listen to your voice for a few minutes and tell you if I think you might have a problem or not. When you come to me expecting a professional opinion, you can expect nothing less than every ounce of hard work being used to evaluate you. 

Kristie Knickerbocker, MS, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist and singing voice specialist in Fort Worth, Texas. She provides voice, swallowing and speech-language treatment in her private practice, a tempo Voice Center, and lectures on vocal health to area choirs and students. She also runs a mobile videostroboscopy and FEES company, Voice Diagnostix. She is an affiliate of ASHA Special Interest Group 3, Voice and Voice Disorders, and a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the Pan-American Vocology Association. Knickerbocker blogs on her website at  www.atempovoicecenter.com. She has developed a line of kid-friendly therapy materials specifically for voice on TPT or her website. Follow her on Pinterest, on Twitter and Instagram or like her on Facebook.