A Great Patient Story

I see a lot of patients in comparison to most private practice cosmetic plastic surgeons. The traditional business model is to charge a large fee for the consult, make it 45 minutes long, and to establish a relationship with the patient while selling yourself as the best person for the job. Since the patient has already spent a real amount of money, you tempt them by allowing them to use it as a credit towards a surgery and they feel more obligated to sign up on the spot. I do not do this.
My mission is to serve the Hispanic community by providing affordable plastic surgery at a high level of expertise and to prevent patients from getting taken advantage of. Because of this, I charge a minor fee of $50 for a consult, one tenth of what Park Ave charges, so that even if they do not end up having surgery with me, at least they have received good advice and true information.
I am approaching the 50,000th patient who has made an appointment in my practice, and it is no wonder that I do not remember them all. I am pretty good at faces, but the names sometimes escape me.
I had a woman come in for a consult for abdominoplasty. I had noticed that she had undergone a breast reduction in 1996. After many years, it looked very well done, and I was impressed with the quality of the work. I mentioned to her that whoever did her breast reduction did a great job. She looked at me funny and told me that I was the one who did her surgery when I was at Columbia Presbyterian as Chief Resident in plastic surgery.
I was a little embarrassed that I did not know that I had done the surgery, but at the same time I was incredibly proud.