Choosing A Plastic Surgeon: 3 Ways to Not Screw Up Picking a Doc


How to Choose the Right Plastic Surgeon

Many people have heard of Warren Buffet and his famous company Berkshire Hathaway – I am sure you have. Fewer people have heard of Charlie Munger. Charlie is Warren’s right hand man that brings worldy wisdom to the decision making process of Warren Buffet and the mothership.

One of the profound statements that I have taken away from his book Poor Charlie’s Almanack is the below:

“In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time—none, zero.”

So if you have found your way to this blog, guess what – you are wise. Even if you are not interested in plastic surgery, what you are clearly interested in is acquiring tools to make better decisions.

Why is Making the Best Decision in Plastic Surgery and Life So Important?

  1. We don’t want to be embarrassed and lose social equity – it really is that simple. A lot of people want to get plastic surgery or buy a certain car, take a certain trip, get a new job, etc etc, (you get the point) but the most common reason holding people back is they simply do not want to be embarrassed or even have the perception of being embarrassed by making a wrong choice. So the default becomes make zero choice, have zero advancement, improvement, fun, whatever metric you prefer and stay mediocre (if you are lucky).
  2. We are information rich and time poor. You have access literally to every plastic surgeon in the world so how could you possibly decide who to go to because that seems like a lot of information to sift through. It actually is not that hard to pick the plastic surgeon and team that will deliver the results and experience you seek. You need to take the lessons in life you have from other aspects of your life and apply it to plastic surgery.

If I said to you, “what is a fancy purse?”,  you would say Birkin. “What is a safe car?”, you would say a Volvo or Range Rover. These are disciplined brands, meaning the equity or value of the product is built into the name of the brand and you really don’t need to sift through the website reading the details and statistics some marketer put up to know they are what they say they are.

So how do we find you the Birkin or Volvo of plastic surgeons? We recommend looking for 3 things in your plastic surgeon candidates.

3 Things to Look For in a Plastic Surgeon

1. You Must Pick a Surgeon Who Performs Your Operation Every Day and Has the Same Team Every Day.

“What such a man needs is not courage but nerve control, cool headedness. This he can get only by practice.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

When America raced to space they trained the astronauts in one aspect and one only. The art of not panicking. Why? Because when people panic they make mistakes, they disregard what is appropriate. They did not just train the astronauts and they trained every team member. Why? It does not matter how great your plan is to launch a spaceship or perform a surgery there will be things that arise in every single mission or operation. That is life, your surgeon and team needs to have been through it thousands of thousands of time. Your surgery needs to be so practiced and rehearsed by the same team that it becomes as natural as breathing to the team. If there is aberrant anatomy, scar tissue, surprise hernia, bleeding etc you don’t need or want any team members heart rate to change. In fact John Glenn the first American Astronaut’s heart rate never got above 100, that’s a man not at control but in control. Tom Wolf later characterized this as having “ the right stuff”

Surgery is not a hobby and its not skill of breadth it’s a symphony of millions of details in each and every case. To simplify your decision making algorithm for choosing a plastic surgeon simply choose a plastic surgeon who does your operation every day with the same team in the same location. If you’re looking for a mommy makeover, that surgeon better be regularly performing mommy makeovers! I would say that is 99% of the decision making algorithm for a patient unsure who to choose and does not want to make a mistake ( I mean its your body so why would you want to make a mistake choosing a plastic surgeon).

2. Don’t Forget the First Rule!

The Harvard Business Review published a collection Jeff Bezos the visionary founder of amazon’s writings.

He compares his views on going to space with surgery

He says “ Real data backs up that surgery is much safer if your surgeon does the operation five times a week”

In the book he extrapolates how improving safety and predictability happens with familiarity. That his why his own Odyssey to space is founded in finding a way to have a reusable rocket ship so he can practice daily, not weekly or monthly but daily!

3. Surgery is What You Get, the Experience is How You Feel About It.

We are way past the days of “that doc is great but has no bedside manner and the office is a disaster”.

For a surgeon to get to a level of mastery they will require at least 5 admin members committed to enlightened hospitality and five-full time nurses. At least two of the nurses should have masters degrees. Why do I think Nurse Practitioners are so important to a surgical office? It is simple think of yourself in high school and think of yourself in grad school (if you went- or the equivalent of where you were in your mid 30’s).