One of the interesting things about my job as a Los Angeles cosmetic surgeon is that the work I do exists at the intersection of aesthetics and medicine, art and science. It is a subjective field, and one where more communication almost always leads to better outcomes. When it comes to enhancing your appearance, there is simply no better decision-maker than the patients themselves.
Which is why it was alarming to read recently that the great preponderance of U.S. patients still do not feel comfortable speaking frankly with their doctors. This isn’t just an issue of plastic surgery; in every area of medicine, it seems, patients feel cowed, rushed or otherwise bullied by the supposedly superior knowledge of their caregivers. Here’s the NYT:
The participants responded that they felt limited, almost trapped into certain ways of speaking with their doctors. They said they wanted to collaborate in decisions about their care but felt they couldn’t because doctors often acted authoritarian, rather than authoritative. A large number worried about upsetting or angering their doctors and believed that they were best served by acting as “supplicants” toward the doctor “who knows best.” Many also believed that they could depend only on themselves for getting more information about treatments or diseases. Some even said they feared retribution by doctors who could ultimately affect their care and how they did.
Needless to say, this is not just about sparing the notoriously fragile egos of physicians. Better dialogue always leads to better care and safer outcomes, not to mention a more positive emotional experience for the patient.
In my field, sensitive procedures such as face lifts and rhinoplasties require trust that goes both ways. I cultivate this trust intentionally by talking—and more importantly, by listening—to my patients before, during and after the surgery. Anything less would be simply unfair.
If you’d like to set up a free and private consultation today, please contact my LA facial cosmetic surgery offices here.