When I do not have an Answer

I am an extremely well educated Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.  I have degrees with honor from The Johns Hopkins University and Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons.  I have a quick mind and an excellent memory, along with 19 years in my private practice career.  Few Plastic Surgeons have ever done as much cosmetic plastic surgery as I have already done in a lifetime.  Good for me.

Despite all of these great credentials, I do not know everything.  There are clinical situations that I handle to the best of my ability, but I am not always correct.  No one is.  As much of an ego blow this can be, I have come to terms with it.  Patients, however, expect perfection.

What I have learned is that if I try my best, yet cannot figure out what to do next, I ask for help from another specialist.  It could be another Plastic Surgeon, or a different specialty, depending on the situation.  There is no shame in sending a patient for another opinion.  I think it shows the utmost respect for patient care.

Patients can be put off by this, and the fear is that they think you don’t know what you are doing.  I try to let them know that it is the exact opposite.  Admitting your limitations takes more courage, and is in the patient’s best interest.

This situation pops up once or twice in a long while, but keeps me grounded.  My only concern is the patient’s well being.  My ego can handle it.

Springtime in Washington Heights

Ah, the Spring.  The weather gets warmer, and the layers of clothing start to be removed.  What does that mean for me?  Panicked patients realizing they have limited time to look better before shorts, skirts and the dreaded bathing suit must be worn. Couple this with the fact that school vacations and Easter mean time off in April, and that indicates I will be working a few extra days to keep up with the demand.

Some people get frustrated that there is a wait for consults, but they must realize that when I do more surgery, there are less slots to see patients.  I am human, and do need to sleep.  Think of it as a super restaurant where reservations must be made in advance.  If you can come in and have surgery at any time, it means that doctor is not very popular.  Usually, there is a reason for it.

I have a limit to the amount of surgery that I can do in one day, and must be certain that my staff and I are at 100% in order to deliver the highest quality of care.  To keep adding on cases to make as much money as possible without recognizing your limitations is foolish at best.

If you are patient, cancellations occur.  My advice is to take the soonest appointment and ask to be called for any cancellations.  We always try to accommodate.  Too many times I have seen patients who have been disappointed in plastic surgery done elsewhere, and they have told me that they wanted me, but didn’t want to wait.

Be safe, enjoy the Spring.  If the timing isn’t right, you can be ready for the Summer.

Back and Better than Ever

I am now back from my near week off, and have already had a very full day of surgery and patients.  I have to pay the price for leisure time, which is not only the lost income of the time away, but the patient load that still has to be seen on top of the usual.  Good thing I am fit and able.

Being away allows me to get a bit of perspective.  I am amazed at how it is impossible for me to do nothing.  My mind is so curious that it never rests or is satisfied.  If I ever retire, I would have to do something else.  I am not the sit on the beach and nap type.

To be truthful, I did not miss being in the office, but I appreciate it more now.  I was just a young man who had come straight out of training and into my own practice in 1997 with no money and a lot of school debt.  I have worked tirelessly over 19 years to become Yager Esthetics, and am immensely proud of what I have built.  I am an important part of my Hispanic community, and it is my life.

I have also learned how much there is outside the office to discover.  There are so many ways that I can grow and learn, despite all of my studies.  My interests are wide ranging, and my passion for knowledge is fierce.  More trips and new avenues are in my future.

This is the busy season, and the best time to come in.  My juices are flowing, and I am charged up to deliver my best work.  Take your vacation here, and see what we can do to change your life.

On Vacation Blog

As you read this, I will be on a vacation for the first time since August. Many people think Plastic Surgery is not hard work, but for those of us who do liposuction and tummy tucks, we know differently. Aside from the physical demands of the procedures, there is a 24/7 time commitment during which you can be called at any hour of any day.

If that were not difficult enough, there is the pressure of peoples’ hopes and dreams for perfection and a resolution of life’s problems with the magic of cosmetic surgery. I can be surgeon, general medical doctor, psychiatrist, and shoulder to cry on for each patient.

I cannot afford to be anything but positive and reassuring all of the time, no matter what is going on in the office, or at home for that matter. I have to insure that every patient gets the benefit of positive energy and my very best support. It can take its toll.

I am looking forward to 6 days of no electronics, no phone calls, and a little time for me for a change. It can just be in my home, or anywhere that I am not a famous plastic surgeon. I am so grateful for all who have entrusted in me to perform plastic surgery, and love what I do. A short pause will only make me stronger.

See you next week.