ronaldo23

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So, my cousin recently had a PS operation, and I flew down with her to the surgeon's and wow it was amazing. I think all PS attendings can learn a ton from this doctors practice. It is basically a practice that REGULARLY attracts clients from all over the country (all 50 states) and all around the world. I really, really enjoyed reading the stickied thread about GSresidents experience starting up his practice, so I thought I'd share the basics of another PS surgery practice to try and compare etc. and learn more about private practices in general.

basically, this PS owns a practice in Richmond, VA and attracts clients from all around the world to come in and get operations done. His secret? Aside from great technique and reputation, he has amazing business skills- a phenomenal website. I know it is common for many PS to set up websites, but I think the depth and almost encylopedic nature of this guy's site is something all plastic surgeons should take note of and is what largely is responsible for his success. It basically explains all his techniques for each operation, with message boards of patients experiences for EACH procedure he offers. There are tons of before and after pics from different angles, costs for east procedure (although he slyly will only list the surgeons fee on the site). Another thing he does is regularly post on active forums about his practice- for example gynecomastia.org he constantly posts and attracts clients that way, bodybuilding.com, rhinoplasty forums etc.

Moreover, I think a key to his business is that he will do this thing called 'preliminary remote consults.' Basically if you are considering an operation, you call his office, you fill out a form for an operation you want, and send pictures of the body part you want for surgery from various angles that he requests. He will then call you on the phone and talk for about an hour about the procedure You can then set up a tentative surgery date (if he recomends), and come in the day before for an official-in house consultation. Like say you want a rhinoplasty, you do the prelim consutl July 1, and have a tentative surgery date July 20. You go in July 19 for an official consult, have the surgery, 20th, have post-op 21, and then fly/drive back home. It might sound like I'm trying to advertise or something for him, but I was just so amazed by this practice from a business perspective, I thought I'd post it here to see what you PS doctors/residents think about it. Is it commonplace/smart to have a practice like this that attracts large numbers of clientele from around the world? What are the pros and cons? I would imagine this guy is making 7 figures easily.
 
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droliver

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While there are a handful of surgeons in the Virginia/Baltimore/D.C. area that have national referral bases (for reconstructive surgery actually), the surgeon you refer to is not one of them. While he may be a hustler (I mean that in a good way) in terms of looking for patient leads, there's nothing really unique or novel with what you're talking about.

The people who have reputations where people travel far to see you are usually well known figures specializing in teriary procedures (specialty microsurgery & hand, redo eyelid surgery, revision breast surgery, transgender surgery) or the ultra high end of the facelift or rhinoplasty crowd. For 99.99% of providers there's no yield in advertising outside of your metro or nearby regional area as there's too many other providers for most services that will be closer.

The guys with national bases by and large do NOT have to advertise at all as it's a reputation (and sometimes media) driven phenomena.
 

maxheadroom

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Ollie is spot-on. One of the main faculty in my fellowship is internationally known for a fairly uncommon group of problems. I've operated on people from all over the U.S. and a few internationals. Most of her draw is from reputation among other surgeons who refer patients directly to her.

The majority of surgeons will develop a reputation for having expertise at certain procedures/problems within their community/city/region, but they won't be a national draw.
 
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ronaldo23

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do you think that it is high yield for a PS to create a really informative, encyclopedic-like website of all their procedures etc, and to post on various messageboards (PS related) to try and attract clients? Or do most PS's do fine with only clients from around their region?
 

droliver

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Tracking cookies from most plastic surgery websites show that by and large, the only thing people look much are photos. The yield on advertising outside of your local demographic market is very low.
 

docjulian

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The busiest PS I know had probably one of the best websites I have seen in a long time.
However, this takes a lot of time and dedication. He would also take clips for youtube in his lunch breaks. Although they didn't cost a lot of money, they still looked very professional and attracted a lot of patients. He also had several people fly in from Europe to come visit him in Texas.

But putting content on that website also was fun for him. So I assume just paying some agency big bucks won't get you the same result.

Writing on message boards may be a good idea, but the website that your profile is linked to must be perfect first.