A career as a plastic surgeon is very lucrative and rewarding. Being a plastic surgeon is about more than just helping vain people get nips, tucks and augmentations to make their bodies look better and more attractive. A good plastic surgeon can help to improve the health, confidence and quality of life for people of all ages and from all walks of life. However, before a person can begin to earn the large salary for performing the type of surgery that people want and need, they must complete extensive training and pass the mandatory tests to qualify for board certification in plastic surgery.
Required Training for Plastic Surgeons
In order to become board certified in plastic surgery a candidate must earn a medical degree and get surgical training and experience. To become a board certified plastic surgeon, a person must then complete a residency program approved by the ACGME or the AOA in surgical specialties like:
- General Surgery
- Neurological Surgery
- Orthopedic Surgery
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Plastic Surgery
- Thoracic Surgery
To apply for board certification in plastic surgery, a candidate must already be a board certified ABCS surgeon. Plastic surgeons extensive education and training includes earning a four-year undergraduate degree, attending medical school and completing residency programs in general surgery as well as plastic surgery. Fulfilling the requirements can be grueling. It can mean as many as 16 years of education, training, residency programs, fellowships and internships. Completing the course takes stamina, hard work and determination. But the rewards are many and great.
Setting Up And Managing A Successful Plastic Surgery Practice
Once a doctor has completed their training and become a board certified plastic surgeon in Oklahoma City, the next step is setting up and managing their practice. As a new plastic surgeon, there are certain key things on which they must focus in addition to doing incredible cosmetic surgical procedures if the practice is to do well. These operational ‘must haves’ will enable the plastic surgeon to continually attract clients and grow their practice.
A Relaxing Experience
Visiting the office of the plastic surgeon should be a relaxing, pleasurable experience. The lighting should be soft, the furniture comfortable and the staff, attractive, warm and welcoming. This helps potential clients enjoy their visit and begin to feel comfortable with the plastic surgeon and the atmosphere in the office. If they are provided with a good brochure showing the quality of the plastic surgeon’s work, outlining their training and highlighting any awards their have won, their confidence will begin to rise.
Make The Patient Smile
If the plastic surgeon is pleasant, self-assured, knowledgeable and thoughtful and can get the patient to smile during the consultation and relay how fast, painless, effective and easily-affordable the procedure is, the chances of the visitor becoming a client increases exponentially. The personal charm, wit, wisdom and expertise of the surgeon can help them to gain the confidence of people considering having a cosmetic procedure done and they can begin to build their practice one satisfied customer at a time.
Attracting a steady flow of clients is essential for a new practice. As business people there are important systems that must put in place if their practice is to thrive and the surgeon is to enjoy the fruits of their training and preparation. They must let the public know what services they offer. Be they:
- Brow, Eyelid, Neck or Face Lifts
- Breast Lifts, Augmentation or Reduction
- Body Contouring
- Tummy Tuck
- Post Weight-Loss Surgery
- Facial Rejuvenation
- Microderm Abrasion
- Chemical Peels
- Dermal Fillers
- Juvederm Injectable Gel
- BOTOX Cosmetic Treatments
The Call Center
A call center for handling outbound and inbound calls and helping generate a flow of clients is essential. The taff must have a copy of the surgeon’s brief bio that includes their specialty, focus areas, education, board certifications and awards. The staff should be bright, pleasant and sales motivated.
Gather as much data as possible from each patient. This includes their name, address, phone numbers, date of birth, email address, referral source, procedure in which they are interested and payment method.
- Calling Potential Patients
- Call center staff should make calls to:
- Remind patients of scheduled appointments 48 hours before
- Inquire about missed appointments
- Ascertain why patients completed consultations, applied for financing, but never booked a surgery
- To wish patients happy birthday and offer discounts or free products
- To provide information needed to prepare for scheduled procedures
- Ask about patients fears or concerns
Develop An Effective Marketing Plan
Creating an effective marketing plan is almost as important as doing amazing surgical procedures when it comes to attracting clients. The marketing plan should include:
- Advertising in local, regional and national media
- Developing a social media presence
- Promoting available financing options
- Doing follow-up calls after every consultation
- Hosting community networking events with beauty salons, health spas, cosmetics boutiques and tanning salons
- Using radio advertising, business cards, flyers and discount certificates
Plastic surgeons should regularly reassess and upgrade their brand image to differentiate themselves from the competition. They have to let the public know they offer superior services at affordable prices. Plus, having an interactive, easy-to-use website and sponsoring or hosting special events targeting women are also very effective marketing tools.
Benefits Plastic Surgeons Enjoy
Being a plastic surgeon offers many great rewards. CNN Money in their list of the Best Jobs In America had plastic surgeon near the top. That’s because these surgeons not only earn great pay, they also get incredible satisfaction from their work. It improves people’s self-image, confidence and the way they feel about themselves. Plus, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says job opportunities for plastic surgeons will grow by 24% over the next few years.
A Sense Of Accomplishment
Sculptors of the flesh, these surgeons average salary is about $205,000 a year. Many of them make in excess of $350,000 annually with additional income coming from teaching and speaking engagements. In addition to that, their work gives them a sense of accomplishment. They embrace the challenge of improving people’s lives with medically necessary corrective procedures.
Dr. Jeanette Padgett, MD FACS is a Plastic Surgeon in Oklahoma City.