What can make the palms sweat and the heart race? For many, it’s the moment they stop fantasizing about having plastic surgery and actually schedule a consultation. Instead of getting nervous, seize the moment to take control and be prepared. You’ll feel more relaxed, and you’ll have the tools you’ll need to choose the best doctor.
Since your consultation time is limited, put it to good use. Start by doing your homework before you come in. Here are ten tips that will help you maximize your consultation experience:
1) What board is the doctor certified by? If you’re looking for a plastic surgeon, make sure he’s certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery; if you’re looking for a dermatologist, make sure he’s certified by the American Board of Dermatology.
2) Read the doctor’s biography. Where did he train? What are his interests? If he claims to have invented a procedure, look it up. Has it been published in a peer-reviewed journal or presented at a society meeting? If not, the name for the invented procedure may be a marketing gimmick.
3) Where does the doctor operate? If he has an in-office operating room suite, is it accredited? Does he use a board-certified anesthesiologist?
4) Look at the before and after photos on the doctor’s website. Don’t be fooled by lighting, makeup, or positioning. What do you think of the results? Are there several examples to view? Compare those photos with those on other websites.
5) Look for information that the doctor has written about the particular procedure(s) you’re interested in. This might be in the form of pages on the website, blog entries, videos, and social media contributions.
6) If you do an Internet search, pay close attention to the sources. The Mayo Clinic, for example, would be a good source, but others may be inaccurate or downright wrong. You don’t want the doctor to spend most of your consultation time explaining why the information you gathered is outdated or incorrect.
7) Bring a list of your own questions. Please don’t bring a list of someone else’s questions printed off the Internet. Your doctor will expect to answer your questions, focusing on your goals and needs.
8) Narrow down your interests. Since you’ll only be able to have a limited number of procedures at one surgery, you’re better off learning everything you can about your top priority or priorities.
9) Complete your paperwork before the time of your consultation. That information is an important part of the doctor’s evaluation. If you come unprepared, filling out the paperwork will eat up valuable consultation time. Your doctor cannot extend your consultation time, since the patient scheduled after you will expect to be seen on time.
10) Be on time. If you have an unavoidable delay, please call to let the staff know. If you can’t make your consultation appointment, please call as soon as you can to reschedule.
Now you’re prepared. Have a great consultation!