He’s Just a Dentist!
One thing about life is that there will always be competition and competition can breed deceit, especially in people with little minds. Some of this is natural and we see it in everyday life. Washington Redskin fans hate the Dallas Cowboys, Democrats fight with Republicans (and vice versa), religions fight other, and so on and so on. Most of this is taken in simple terms, but sometimes people distort fact to make themselves look better. Case in point. If a patient comes into my office and says something about being treated by another local cosmetic surgeon and let’s assume I don’t really care for that surgeon or that this surgeon did poor work on this patient. It is always tempting to say something derogatory, but I never fall for the trap, I just say “oh, he is a nice guy” or simply say I don’t know them. This is a win-win situation because we both win. On the contrary, when the shoe is on the other foot, there are numerous surgeons in my town that will go out of their way to demean me (or other surgeons). They are actually pretty good referral sources because I have had numerous patients leave their offices only to come to me as a patient. These patients were either embarrassed at the unprofessionalism of the other doc or came to me and said “hey, this guy must really be hurting because he is obviously afraid of your presence, so I thought you must be pretty good to make someone talk like that in front of a patient”. I have also had patients come to me after a good dose of bashing by some of the smaller minded competition because the patient felt that “if he talks about his colleagues like that, he (or she) probably talks about their patients in a similar vein”. Anyhow, for that doctor it is a win-lose situation because for them to look good, someone has to look bad. I kind of feel sorry for them that their life is like that.
On a somewhat humorous note, several of these plastic surgeons tell their patients not to come to me “because I am a dentist”. I guess they think it scares the patient and I guess they also think that it is some type of insult. They fail to mention that I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon, guess that year of internship and four years of hospital residency must have slipped their mind! It is funny that a person is usually categorized by their last educational experience, not their first. I think they should tell their patients I am a Zoologist, since that was my college major. They also never tell their patients that I have published 4 textbooks and over 200 articles on cosmetic facial surgery or that I lecture to their peers on a regular basis or that I have one of the fastest growing cosmetic practices in the State, nope….”he is just a dentist.”
I did graduate from dental school, you have to do that to enter maxillofacial surgery. My dental training was tremendous as I studied the head and neck (my area of expertise) for four years and honed my manual dexterity which truly has paid off in my cosmetic surgical career. There are few people that can use their hands in such an artistic manner as dentists, so I would not trade it for the world, it has made me a better cosmetic surgeon.
Every once in a while, they may scare a patient away, but their bashing has actually encouraged patients to come to me once they find out the facts. In addition, I have redone some of their work on patients that they scared away from my office and the patients returned with their tails between their legs admitting they were duped. That part is not the biggest deal because all surgeons at some time probably have work redone by someone else (including mine), but it seems that I have seen more complications from my loudest opponents that the other competition.
Who ever said “if you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all” was right on the money. For more information about cosmetic facial surgery in Richmond, Virginia see www.lovethatface.com
Joe Niamtu, III DMD
Cosmetic Facial Surgery