Top 5 Frustrations + Solutions for Plastic Surgeons

Top 5 Frustrations + Solutions for Plastic Surgeons

I recently was a co-moderator with Julie Guest of Premier Physician Marketing at the Global Aesthetics Conference in Miami where the topic was,

“Frustrations You’re Most Likely Facing Too…”

We had a lively discussion with the panelists Donn Chatham, MD (Facial Plastics KY), Ryan Greene, MD (Facial Plastics FL) and Mathew Knight, MD (Cosmetic Dermatology, FL).

Maybe you are experiencing the same roadblocks keeping you from truly enjoying your practice.

Here are the Top 5 Frustrations and the Solutions to Combat Them:


Unexpected holes in your schedule can wreak havoc on your day and your revenues.

The panel agreed that charging for the consultation helped a lot.

However, some audience members noted they had trouble charging for consults since their competitors did not. So they were charging a reservation fee instead that was charged ONLY if the patient did not give 48 hours notice if they needed to change or cancel their appointment.

Converting Consults

Julie noted the marketing message is what is affecting a practice’s results. How you portray yourself in your advertising and marketing is how prospective patients see you so be careful how you are defining you.

And, not enough pre-framing you as the BEST CHOICE was happening ahead of time and that is affecting your conversion rates too. I believe the prospective patient should be 70% “pre-sold” on you before they even meet you and you do that with a great website, before/after photos, reviews and excellent customer service.

Negative Reviews

This hits a surgeon’s ego hard since they are trained to help people so it was suggested to have staff protect the surgeon by reading the comments and just asking the surgeon what their response is and staff handles it from there.

Several practices respond with concern to less then stellar reviews and have had luck getting it removed. Or, if you can’t remove poor reviews, at least bury it with 5-star reviews. Although it was noted having all 5 stars looks phony. You need some variety since nobody is perfect 😉

I noted consumers read the bad reviews way more often than the good reviews so use that to your advantage. It’s worth it to answer them with care and concern so prospective patients see you in a different light.

And, even when the surgeon asks the patient directly for the review, at most, 20% of the patients actually do it, even though they said they would. I suggested the patients be given instructions and a Starbucks gift card to enjoy a coffee while they are writing the review 😉

Attract New Patients

All agreed word of mouth referrals from current patients makes all of this a lot easier.

And, here was a great idea: Dr. Knight does a TV show and puts the video on FB and his patients like, share and comment on it. These comments act as “mini reviews” and are shared with friends so he gets new patients from it. Great idea!

Price Shoppers

Julie made a good point that when your practice marketing says “Only for NEW patients”, you snub your current patients so allow everybody to take advantage of your promotions.

Don’t discount out loud but do “negotiate” for certain patients on a case-by-case basis.

While some practices said they don’t negotiate, I reminded everyone of the reality of different cultures who negotiate for sport so you need to be prepared and set up boundaries so it’s a win-win for both parties.


Which of these frustrations resonate with you and what have you done to address them?