There are reasons doctors aren’t always known for their “bedside manners.” Some are drawn to the science side of the profession first, and the people side second. Many medical schools don’t require or even offer courses on how to interact with patients. And, given the complexities facing those in medicine today, it’s possible that some doctors you meet are just plain burned out.
So, how important is it that you actually like your plastic surgeon?
When we appear on local television or give a magazine interview, we are occasionally asked how people should go about selecting the best plastic surgeon in New York, where our practice is, or any other metropolitan area. Credentials are the most critical factor, of course, but we also believe it’s important for a patient to feel they can have a warm, friendly relationship with their surgeon. Here’s why.
- You need to be open with your plastic surgeon. Honesty is one key to surgical safety and optimal results. If you don’t feel completely comfortable in the consultation room, you may be tempted to leave out details your plastic surgeon will need to safeguard your health and produce the results you’re hoping for.
- You may need fine-tuning. In the hands of a board certified plastic surgeon with a great track record, most patients can expect to be satisfied with the outcome of cosmetic surgery. But occasionally a small touch up or even complete revision may be warranted. When your interactions with your plastic surgeon have been positive, it will be easier for you to return to the consultation room to discuss post-surgical options.
- You may want a lasting relationship. Many patients choose a second procedure or treatment after their first. Sometimes people elect a rejuvenation option such as a chemical peel to refresh a facelift, for instance; other times people choose non-invasive treatment first, then decide to have cosmetic surgery down the road. Either way, it’s not only nice to feel good about returning to your original plastic surgeon, it’s helpful when they have worked with you in the past.
- You need to have confidence in the entire practice. If you don’t like your plastic surgeon much, it’s possible his or her staff may feel the same way. This may suggest there’s high turnover in support roles, it may mean key team members aren’t motivated to do their best and so on.
But what if you’re on the hunt for the best plastic surgeon, and New York is not your home? What if you live in a small town and have limited choices?
If your area offers only a plastic surgeon you do not necessarily “click” with, it is up to you whether that’s an issue. Perhaps you only plan one procedure and have reason to know that the doctor in question achieves consistently excellent results. You may decide in this case that the bedside manner is not so important.
Keep in mind there’s another option, however. You can fly to a larger city for plastic surgery. Many practices have a “fly in” program and staff trained to assist out of town patients. People often find it worthwhile to travel to get away from the stress of their daily routines and perhaps prying eyes, not to mention to have the chance to work with a plastic surgeon they both trust and like.
Dr. Elliot Jacobs is an experienced, highly recognized New York plastic surgeon focusing on procedures for men. An innovator in his field. Dr. Jacobs has developed advanced techniques for correcting gynecomastia (enlarged male ‘breasts’) through liposuction, with a focus on comprehensive improvements from the chest to the waist area. He also provides surgical correction for men with overactive sweat glands through a minimally-invasive procedure that significantly reduces sweat production without eliminating it entirely.
A native New Yorker, Dr. Jacobs has served on the US Air Force and is an Honorary Police Surgeon for the New York City police Department. After earning his medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, he completed a General Surgery residency there as well, and received specialized training in plastic surgery techniques before ultimately earning the position of Chief Resident in Plastic Surgery. Dr. Jacobs is board-certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Plastic Surgery; he is also a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and a Fellow of both the American and the International Colleges of Surgeons.
Dr. Jacobs recognizes the challenges that men experience due to problems such as enlarged breast tissue and overactive sweat glands, and he enjoys working with his patients personally to help restore their appearance and help enable them to enjoy a more confident outlook. Dr. Jacobs is committed to the ongoing advancement of plastic surgery techniques, and is a Consultant in Plastic Surgery to the United Nations. A frequent contributor to national and local news sources, Dr. Jacobs is also on the attending staff of several New York area hospitals and is the author of Mantalk: Tips from the Pros for Great Looks, Good Health and Maintaining Your Competitive Edge