In a recent survey, the question was asked of plastic surgeons, “How would you invest $100,000 in your practice?” What do you think they wanted? A new office, a new receptionist, new lasers, a new company sports car? That may have been what they wanted, but that’s not what they said!

One doctor said he would spend it on education for himself and his staff. He would visit other plastic surgeons and send his staff to accomplished practices to see firsthand how other people do it better. Wise man!!

Another would spend it on the latest technology that gives each patient an iPad when they enter the office to allow them to select photos, videos, and other educational materials in which they are interested. Photos can also be taken on the iPad that can be drawn upon to demonstrate different procedures or concepts to the patient. Very cool! I will need to look into that.

Another would hire a photographer to create a before and after gallery of photos to help in closing the deal!

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The next question was, “What was the most regrettable investment that the doctor had ever made?”

For one it was the purchase of a “laser-lipo machine” when the doctor didn’t even do body surgery!

For another it was the purchase of an Electronic Medical Record program. Although it was the ‘Cadillac” of systems, it has done nothing but sap time, money, energy, and productivity from the doctors and staff!

“A ‘bad egg’ staff member,” answered another. Over the years this staff member had accumulated multiple complaints, but the doctor had kept her around, investing time and energy in her. When the patient complaints began to mount, though, the employee was let go. Since then, practice revenues had increased, the other staff members were happier, and patients were more pleased!

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How about, “What is the best investment you ever made in your practice?”

The majority answer was investing in excellent staff! One doctor sent a receptionist to aesthetician school. The patients love her and she refers patients to the office for injectables and procedures. Another hired a 2nd patient coordinator, easing wait times for patients and increasing practice revenues. Another physician who practices in New York City hires high priced talented staff members. The patients love them and they can take over many of the doctor’s administrative duties.

Several physicians pointed to their lasers as great investments.

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If you were a plastic surgeon, what would you do with $100,000? Maybe try some of your own medicine, as in having plastic surgery!

Comments?

George Sanders, M.D.