In the past people chose their surgeons mostly by word of mouth, seeing whoever their friends recommended, but now most people research and choose their own doctors with the help of the internet. They narrow it down and on average consult three different surgeons before choosing the one they feel most comfortable with. But how do you narrow it down to three with the myriad of sites all professing their Surgeon to be the best? What do these sites really tell us about the surgeon?
1- Search Engines, such as Google, are a great first move. They can help you see who is out there and give a ranked result. These rankings come from a variety of sources, paid advertising (Google Adwords), forum postings , links from the surgeons own website to name a few. This will give you an idea of who the best marketer is not necessarily the best surgeon.
2- The next site we should check but often don’t is the CPSO , College of Physicians of Ontario, to ensure that the surgeon is a certified Plastic Surgeon, http://www.cpso.on.ca/public-register/all-doctors-search In Ontario any licensed doctor can call themselves a Cosmetic Surgeon but certified Plastic Surgeons spend five years training after becoming an MD in order to have the knowledge and experience to use the title Plastic Surgeon. If the surgeon you are considering has a private clinic for their surgeries, don’t forget to make sure they have hospital privileges while you are on this site. This is an important backup in case of emergency.
3- Facebook is a great spot to check out the culture of the office, what do they stand for, what kind of image are they sending out? Remember with one or two pre surgery visits and several follow up visits , you may be spending a lot of time with these people. If you find people you enjoy being around it will be a more positive experience.
4- Review sites such as RateMDs are also high on everyone’s list. This gives you an overview of the practice and surgeon. Be wary if the surgeon has too many negative comments but also remember some of those comments could be resolved by the time you read them or could be from people with unrealistic expectations.
5- Twitter – Are they tweeting appropriate information for you ? Is this a quick sales site for them or is it a genuine foray into the community? If what they post is inappropriate for you find someone who targets what you are interested in, again you need an office that you are comfortable in.
6- Personal websites are a must! This will give you a chance to look at before and after pictures, you want a subtle lip increase but everyone on the site has a trout mouth? Keep looking! Make sure that the service you want is something the surgeon does and has experience with. Check to see if there is talk about individual plans so you can achieve your aspiration not get cookie cutter results. Most importantly check to see that they are within your area. A great surgeon in another city will make follow up visits difficult and what if you have an issue? You need someone who is close enough to be able to see them if you need them and to be able to have the appropriate follow up, which may continue for a year depending on your surgery.
7- Last but most important- test them – Send an email or call the office. How quickly was your call returned? Was the person that wrote back knowledgeable? Were they helpful? This will be the main point of contact and you need someone who makes you feel like you are their priority and never rushes you.
Using these tips will help you find the three best suited, local surgeons to contact. The next step will be choosing who is best suited to help you reach your goal of looking on the outside how you feel on the inside. Go ahead and make the call, book your appointments, then come back and I will help you navigate the consultation.