I am a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, and I do not complain about my income. I could certainly charge more here in my 20th year of private practice, but I try to keep plastic surgery accessible to working people in my Hispanic community. I do not expect anything more than what I charge for each surgery, and feel it is a bargain for what is provided.
Some of my colleagues on Park Avenue charge considerably more, and are often given expensive gifts as a routine by their patients. I have heard of expensive watches, jewelry, use of vacation homes, and even a car or two, far exceeding the value of the surgical fee.
I recently received a wonderful present that I feel is worth more. A young woman, very quiet and respectful, came back one year after her surgery to tell me how much her surgery meant to her. She felt that it helped her self esteem, her job, and her relationship, and wanted to thank me so much. I was touched and grateful for the appreciation, and then she handed me an envelope. Inside was a Starbucks Gift Card. She wrote “Thank You For Everything.”
It may not have the street value of a Rolex, but the thought was far more precious to me.