What goes around…..comes around.
I had an interesting experience at the office today. Not my first of this type, but a good one. I went to a treatment room to see a patient that I have treated many times for Botox and small procedures. I noticed that she would not make eye contact with me and thought that was odd. I asked her how her summer was and she said “terrible”, again while staring at the floor. When I asked her why, she said she made a terrible mistake. She went on to explain that she had consulted me months ago about a facelift, but on the recommendation of a friend, went to another surgeon and the result was a disaster. I held her hand and reassured her that I am not offended and this happens to all doctors but I was sorry about her result. Upon examination, she was correct, she had a poor surgical result. Her incisions were improperly placed and noticeable, her neck still had much laxity, she had lost areas of tissue that healed with scars and had folds on her neck and chin from improper technique, to name the major problems. She began crying and said she wanted to sue the other doctor. I asked her who the other surgeon was and she told me. She also told me that she should have know better than to go to him because when she told him that she had also consulted me, he “went off”. She said this surgeon went into an embarrassing 5 minute diatribe about how I am unqualified to perform her facelift and many other degrading things about me. She said that she already had paid a deposit and signed some papers so against her feelings she went ahead with the surgery. She explained how disappointed she was and how much she suffered and how it ruined her entire summer. She also reminded me that she asked me one time about this surgeon and I did not say anything negative about him and after his assault on me, she now sees the value of being a bigger person. She stated “wow, you must really have taken a lot of this surgeons business for him to be that jealous, I am so sorry I did not choose you to begin with.” This was a good reminder of how astute patients really are.
I again told her not to feel bad and that her actions were in the past and she can’t change that. She spoke about suing the other surgeon which I totally discouraged, knowing that if the shoe was on the other foot, he would have relished in the process. We began working on the scars and made a treatment plan to deal with the other problems and upon leaving, she gave me a hug. I hope a lot of younger surgeons see this blog as there are a multitude of lessons to be learned in a case like this. First of all, always speak with purpose and never lower yourself to the level of negative, insecure people. You will always look bigger and patients can see right through an insecure surgeon. Secondly, many doctors are victims of “competitive insecure bashing” and they should never let that bother them. If a surgeon treats his or her patients like family and does good work, it will all catch up with the good doc and take away from the bad doc. A Chinese proverb says “if you sit by the river bank long enough, you will eventually see the bodies of your enemies float by”. It’s true. Most doctors that talk trash are identifying themselves to that patient as insecure and intimidated by their competition. If you can’t say something positive, then simply say “I don’t know anything about him”. So today I wanted to thank Dr. X for his kind referral of this patient and all her friends. I actually received patients without any marketing. What goes around comes around.
To learn more about cosmetic facial surgery in Richmond, Virginia visit www.lovethatface.com
Joe Niamtu, III DMD
Cosmetic Facial Surgery