Moderator: Welcome to today’s episode of True to Form, with your Host, President, and Co-founder of Crystal Clear, highly regarded speaker and two time Inc. 500 entrepreneur, Tim Sawyer. True to Form is a podcast that highlights leaders making headway in the aesthetic, antiaging, and elective medical industries. Learn from the experts to discover the secrets to success and the pitfalls to avoid when it comes to growing your aesthetic revenue, with the authentic, the transparent, Tim Sawyer.
Tim Sawyer: Hello and welcome to True to Form, a podcast that connects you to the people technology hot topics that shape the elective medical community, brought to you by Crystal Clear Digital Marketing. I’m your host Tim Sawyer and to our returning guests welcome back, and for our first time listeners we appreciate you joining us and encourage you to become a subscriber. Last week we spoke with Dr. Mark Tager, published author of 10 books and CEO of ChangeWell Inc, which is his practice. That is to improve your presentation skills. If you missed it, you should absolutely check it out.
And so today I’m totally psyched. With all that said, we’ve got two amazing guests today; Dr. Trent Douglas and Dr. Katerina Gallus from San Diego. Dr. Trent Douglas is a board certified plastic surgeon, an experienced, trusted, and recognized authority in the field of plastic surgery. He understands that the decisions to start a plastic surgery journey is very individual and will come at different times and different ages for every patient. Patient safety is a priority. Ongoing training in individual patient care are but a few of the attributes that make Dr. Douglas one of the most sought after plastic surgeons in San Diego and the Greater Southern California area. Dr. Douglas is on the Board of Directors for the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, on several committees for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the California Society of Plastic Surgeons, The San Diego Plastic Surgery Society, and the Jurkiewicz Society. And I hope I said that right.
And Dr. Katerina Gallus is an experienced and an accomplished board certified plastic surgeon who enjoys the opportunity to impact patients, lives in a positive way via the ever evolving science and technology in modern plastic surgery. Dr. Gallus has over a decade of experience in cosmetic breast and body surgery, facial rejuvenation, and breast reconstruction. She offers a concierge consultation experience and positive surgical encounter for every patient. A trusted surgeon, her opinions are nationally respected and she is a requested expert from meetings, panels, and journal articles. A member of the American Society for the Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and the California Society of Plastic Surgeons. She is a contributing voice in mentoring and guiding young plastic surgeons. She was elected in 2017 as the Vice-Chair of the Women’s Plastic Surgery Committee of the ASPS. A role model, she also represents the southwest region on ASPS Ethics Committee.
And so together, Dr. Gallus and Dr. Douglas own Restore SD Plastic Surgery. They are amazing people and we want to welcome both to our program today. How are you guys doing?
Dr. Douglas: We’re doing well Tim. Thanks for having us today.
Dr. Gallus: Yeah, we’re doing great, happy to speak to you from Sunny San Diego.
Tim Sawyer: By the way one of my favorite places on the planet and I absolutely love the hotel, Del Coronado. I don’t know if you guys get over there at all much because you’re super busy, but it’s absolutely one of my favorite places to hang out between the airplanes and the navy seals running up and down the beach. It’s a cool spot. So I guess the first question is, how did you guys connect? Where did you meet? How did you meet? How did you form the practice?
Dr. Douglas: So our careers have been intertwined for almost 20 years now. We were both active duty in Navy Plastic Surgeons and then the early to mid-2000s, we were working together on a lot of the more casually reconstructions. So we’ve had nearly our entire careers together.
Dr. Gallus: Yeah. And then prior to that, we were both general surgery residents at the same time in the same program. Trent was a year ahead of me, but we were in the same program and graduated within years of each other. And then both came back to the same navy facility to do plastic surgery.
Tim Sawyer: So, I have a really good friend who also – do you know Dr. Stanley Okoro? He is an Atlanta based plastic surgeon who also came out of the navy and-.
Dr. Douglas: Oh yes, Stanley, yeah, we were all in San Diego and Stanley lives in Bethesda, Washington, D C area. So we of course know Stanley, absolutely. He is a great guy.
Tim Sawyer: It’s amazing. And how – for our listeners – so you – and this will sound a little ignorant, so you get out of school and your initial training is in the navy. So how do you matriculate through the navy to become a plastic surgeon? What does that look like?
Dr. Gallus: So, I’ll tell you a little bit about how that works. In general, you are a intern with the navy, because you took a scholarship to pay for medical school, and during your internship you decide what kind of residency you want to do. When we both started that with a general surgery residency, integrated plastic surgery programs weren’t really a thing quite yet. So we started and did our residencies in general surgery at the navy facility. If you want to do extra training after that, you want to be a plastic surgeon, you want to be a vascular surgeon, you want to be a cardiothoracic surgeon, you then need to apply to both the navy and the civilian programs. You’re applying to the navy for permission to do that extra training, and then you’re applying to the individual program to get accepted to that training.
And for a while I functioned as a specialty leader of plastic surgery for the navy. And part of my job was looking at the candidates who were applying for plastic surgery and then working with the navy to get them the spot so that they could then get in a program. Then you do your training in that specialty on the outside, in a civilian training program. And then once you’re finished with your training, you come back into the navy active duty, and start functioning as a plastic surgeon. So that’s very similar to the pathway we both took. It’s a lot of years of training-.
Tim Sawyer: And how did you-?
Dr. Gallus: And then some few extra hoops to jump through, but it was worth it.
Tim Sawyer: Yeah. First of all, thank you. It’s an unbelievable experience. And so, are you guys California natives? Is that how you ended up in San Diego?
Dr. Gallus: No.
Dr. Douglas: I’m a California native but also by virtue of military, my dad was a marine pilot. So my sister and I were both born out here in Southern California when he was with the Marines out here. We ended up on the East Coast. So I went to college in Virginia and then down to medical school in Atlanta. And then when it was time for training, I ended up with the navy out here in San Diego. And I’ve been here ever since.
Dr. Gallus: Yeah. And I grew up in [crosstalk] [0:07:45]-.
Tim Sawyer: So, you come from a family of [indiscernible] [0:07:46]?
Dr. Gallus: Yeah.
Tim Sawyer: Good for you guys. So let’s talk a little bit about plastic surgery. So, you know, we spend – I personally spend about 40 weekends a year traveling the country, attending many of the same meetings that you guys attend. And so let’s talk about some of the hot topics impacting plastic surgery. One of the things that – obviously social media right now is a huge, you know, it’s the greatest platform in the world and it’s the bane of many people’s existence. Where do you guys come down on using social media and are you fans, anti-fans and how is that impacting your practice?
Dr. Gallus: I think it provides – Tim, another way to connect to patients and potential patients so they can get – I feel like in this day and age, people like to feel connected to the practice even before they show up. And so having video content on your website and those sorts of things makes you a little bit more accessible, but then social media provides a way to get in front of other patients and people who are interested in plastic surgery in a quick way, so that they can get a feel for the practice and kind of what it is you do. It definitely has some downsides and people have to be careful on how they present things in the different platforms. As a member of the ethics committee, I see stuff come up for complaint all the time. And being careful about what you present following the rules of both the platform and our own professionalism rules are important. So usually [crosstalk] [0:09:34]-.
Tim Sawyer: So, when you say that Dr. Gallus what are some of the – for the folks listening, what are some of the things to really pay attention to and avoid?
Dr. Gallus: So I think it’s super important to make sure that the patient – if there’s a patient in the clip or in the image, is represented in a professional way. So, photos where people are in the operating room. I think you need to treat the patient with respect. And then any “body parts” needed to be treated with the same respect as the patient. And appreciating that if you’re doing this clip, even with the patient’s permission and they’re asleep for surgery, they’re in a vulnerable position, and really looking at it from that perspective.
And to be honest, the biggest violations have happened with people who are not board certified plastic surgeons. But those ones end up being very notorious. So if people are dancing and singing and the patient’s asleep, I think that’s not professional and most people would find that distasteful. If you’re dancing in the OR before anyone is in there that seems more acceptable. You can see somebody dancing or you know, warming up or something, but not while someone is asleep during surgery. That’s like a classic example of I think not being professional.
Tim Sawyer: A lot of it, it seems like common sense, but I feel like in the industry we’ve kind of lost our minds a little bit meaning –so you know, when we think about it, we say, “Okay, we need to be – put our best self forward and portray that in, you know, the best that we possibly can.” But we get caught up, we start living in our brains and say, “Okay, well if I do something a little bit crazier, then more people are going to pay attention,” and what gets lost in all this is that it’s still plastic surgery. It’s not, you know-.
Dr. Gallus: Correct.
Dr. Douglas: Right.
Tim Sawyer: So what are [crosstalk] [0:11:33] you know what I’m saying? It’s a-.
Dr. Gallus: Wait. And even you want to see your water company not, maybe screwing around while they’re checking your meter or whatever. I think it’s the difference between being — you know, I would be upset too if you saw city employees like goofing off that would probably have some backlash. I think it’s a difference between being informative and being strictly entertainment and making sure you don’t go way over to the entertainment side.
Dr. Douglas: And I think our approach has always been one of slow, steady, organic growth. We’re not trying to be internet sensations or stars or have viral videos. We want to engage our potential patient audience that’s out there and watching us and provide informative content. We’ve made a series of little educational video clips that have always been very popular, as well as keeping people abreast of hot topics and breaking news regarding plastic surgery and technology.
Dr. Gallus: Yeah. But I understand the pull of people [crosstalk] [0:12:28] entertaining. I’m sorry; I was just going to say-.
Tim Sawyer: Dr. Douglas, where do you come down on the use of live videos? Super popular, super engaging; for some reason people seem to love it. In other words, would you stream, you know, full on mommy makeover, breast dog kind of thing?
Dr. Douglas: We haven’t done that yet and in fact we haven’t even talked about doing that yet. So I would have to say at this point, our interest level in doing a live surgery is not quite there yet. That may evolve over time, but our patients aren’t really asking for it. We were in a high end area in San Diego, so people really value their discretion and privacy. So we don’t have a patient population that’s really asking for that.
Tim Sawyer: Got it. I will say, you know, it’s – when you just look at the math on it in terms of engagement, it always amazed me that – and certainly we have no shortage of clients who would post a 30 minute live stream of a treatment like that procedure and they’ll see 2000-3000 people watch it. I’m amazed that somebody, not just somebody, almost everybody would actually want to sit and see how that procedure plays out. So, in your mind Dr. Gallus, what’s the fascination with that? I’m trying to understand the patients’ mindset or the prospective patients’ mindset that want – do they just want to see how it works before they do it?
Dr. Gallus: I think there’s some degree of that. And then I think it just speaks to the reality TV nature of how we consume media right now. I mean, because you could watch the same surgery on YouTube, but if there’s some added element of the fact that it’s being live and that you might, you know, that fear of missing out component to it. So I think that’s the added part of the live surgery, plus it’s more interactive so that you could ask questions and, you know, maybe get responses in real time, whereas if you’re just watching a video on YouTube or on someone’s website, you know, you’re not interacting with who that person is. But I definitely think — I’ve done a live Facebook for micro needling, but for a surgery it just has to be — the difference between knowing that you’re going to do a surgery but be distracted by interacting with potential people. So it’s best to have a team of people that are doing that for you as you’re focusing on the job at hand.
Tim Sawyer: Right. All right. So I want to switch gears real quick and talk about the proliferation of noninvasive technology. So it was interesting, in February this year I did – I sat on a panel with Dr. Jay Burns and Sheila Nazarian at the Medical Spa Show. And it’s unusual — those are the interesting bedfellows. They’d be at a Medical Spa Show and then the panel is two plastic surgeons. So how have you kind of either adopted or adjusted your practice? Have you started using lasers in any way and what’s your thoughts on that?
Dr. Douglas: So, we started our own private practice about a year and a half ago. And lasers were definitely part of the concept which we built our noninvasive around. So we have a fractionated carbon dioxide laser, erbium laser, IPL system hair removal. So that is a part of our practice that we like to consider a value add for our surgical patients. A lot of work that we did in the navy was also based around, improving scars with the fractionated carbon dioxide technology. So that’s something that we’ve brought into the private practice as well. So the concept of lasers is one thing, micro needling, we use the dermal infusion machine for microdermabrasion, dermal infusion facials and use some white stimulation technology as well. So we do have a nice menu of noninvasive. And then there were some other things that were already saturated in our market here that we decided not to get.
Tim Sawyer: So, any particular – so what’s the most popular procedure in your marketplace for the use of a laser?
Dr. Gallus: Noninvasive? Oh, for laser?
Tim Sawyer: Yeah noninvasive is [indiscernible] [0:17:12].
Dr. Gallus: Noninvasive, I mean, it would still be injectable, so Botox and filler, and then laser is probably close second. There’s, you know, many different types of lasers offered in the community by the plastic surgery offices, derm offices and medical spas. And so, you know, it’s the laser that gives you no downtime to the laser that’s, you know, fully resurfacing. That’s kind of what we see the most of. There are certainly several practices that carry, you know, noninvasive fat reduction, cool sculpting or you know, true sculpt or something like that. Those are the – that’s probably third-ish place. That’s the option we decided not to take on. And then, noninvasive skin tightening for the face. Those different, either radio-frequency modality or ultrasound modality. We’ve looked at getting a device that might work in that arena, but we haven’t really committed to anything. And I think it’s hard because there’s so many options and there’s no one size fits all and a lot of different variables that go into the use of those to get good results.
Tim Sawyer: And you bring up a good point, Dr. Gallus. You’re in a very competitive market. San Diego obviously is a very – all of Southern California, but you’re in a very competitive market. And how do you – a question to both of you, how do you stay focused and like avoid the noise that’s going on in your marketplace because that’s really important, right? To stay true to who you are, and avoid getting caught up in everything that’s going on around you, what’s your approach to that?
Dr. Gallus: I would say the number one approach is the fact that there’s two of us. So if one of us starts, you know seeing stars, the other one was like, and have to be like, “No, no, no, we don’t need that. Our focus is surgery,” or you know, there’s definitely some checks and balances and it’s not – like it’s always me or it’s always Dr. Douglas who’s, “No, we need this new machine or this is what’s going on.” It’s just being aware that, you know, there should be some checks and balances, and to stay focused on what we do best, which is surgery. But it’s not easy all the time.
Dr. Douglas: I think that’s a great component of it. And then having worked together for so long, we’re definitely a Yang in the Yang, so we both help each other and make good decisions when it comes to investments in the practice. And I think the other part of that is that we’re both very involved on the national level, so between being on the board for ASAPS; Dr. Gallus being very involved with WPS and the ethics committee on the ASPS side. I think that really helps us keep an eye on what’s going on in San Diego and really taking our core values as being board certified plastic surgeons in delivering good quality, consistent, reproducible results for our patients. And, that’s very easy to stay focused on.
Tim Sawyer: Yeah, it’s well said because, I mean, you know, I’m a business owner myself and I know how hard it is to just stay focused on what I’m doing, right? And it really is a challenge, particularly in the age of, not just social media, but comparative living, right? So I think the whole country is obsessed with comparative living, meaning what does the other guy have and the other girl have. We can lose our mind. And I think you guys have a pretty good – you have a pretty good compass, right? And the fact that you two can hold each other accountable is really cool. And so, the other question that I have for you is, philosophically, so I believe that brands come from within, right? You can’t contrive a brand and you can’t, you know, manipulate a brand; brands come from within. So for our listeners, what would you say – what are some of the core principles that guide the practice that you apply every day to running the practice, and treating patients?
Dr. Douglas: I think patient safety is the foremost and for us, we always use accredited facilities. We really strongly rest on our board certification with the American Board of Plastic Surgery. We’re in an area where we’re very competitive, not only with board certified plastic surgeons but with those who name themselves cosmetic surgeons. So that’s always something we have to compete with. So we stress the certification, the training and the safety as far as being our core values. And then we also try to provide a very concierge and boutique experience where we’re not so high volume that you get lost in the mix with the number and get rushed in and out, and don’t have any time with the physicians or our coordinators. So we very much take a customer service oriented boutique approach.
Dr. Gallus: Yeah. And I would say as a female plastic surgeon, I think listening to the patients is important. I see patients time and time again who, you know, say, you know, they didn’t listen or the – I feel like in the last couple of weeks I’ve had a couple of patients who had consults elsewhere where the surgeon made them cry, which I find insane. So I think, listening to the patient, I think we do a great job of hearing what it is that – what their expectations are and what their goals are and not telling them this is what you need or this is, you know, this is the right move for you. And then also being honest with the patient if it’s something they’re trying to achieve that we know isn’t either safe for them or isn’t a realistic expectation and being honest about whether or not we can provide that. And I think that that goes a long way to building our relationships with our patients.
Tim Sawyer: And people must respect that, right? At some level. So I mean obviously, you know, Crystal Clear worked with four, 500 practices, probably 1500 practitioners. And philosophically, not everyone thinks that way, right? Sometimes you can get caught up. And I’m a huge proponent of running your practice like a business, but you can get caught up in the business aspect of it. So you’ve got somebody who comes in and you know, they’ve got a little blemish or whatever that they want treated. And sometimes I feel like our clients get caught up and “Yeah, but if you do that, then you should do this and you do this,” and the next thing you know it’s, you know, they’re making the people feel like they need to spend $15,000 to solve a little – and that really has a negative impact on consult to surgery conversions.
And so, how do you balance that, guys? In other words, you know that there’s a business component. It’s a business, right? And it’s a for-profit business and it’s got to be tough to balance that truly being big based on what Dr. Gallus said. Truly being a good listener and trying to decipher what this person really wants versus saying, “You need to do all this stuff.” How do you regulate-?
Dr. Gallus: Yeah. I don’t think there’s any; I mean I honestly don’t feel there’s any conflict. It’s a long game. And I think if somebody — for example, I had somebody who came from a well-known system here, who had been inappropriately referred to me, and I knew that that hospital system would absolutely cover her surgery, and that it just was a misinterpretation of her primary care. And I said, “Listen, if you don’t want to be treated in that system and you want to pay out of pocket, I can provide that for you, but I strongly feel that you should go back. And I think you just fell through the cracks there.”
And she sent me a thank you card subsequently that said, “You were right. I went to who you suggested, they took care of me. I’m done with my surgery and I just wanted to thank you.” And I just feel like putting that out there to karma versus, you know, taking advantage of someone, that’s a patient that I didn’t operate on, but I’m sure will speak to our practice and that, you know, is its own level of advertising and will come back, you know, I think, in a form of a referral at some point. I hope or not, I just don’t think taking advantage of [crosstalk] [0:25:46] bottom line works out in the end. There’s a hundred ways that can go wrong, in my opinion.
Dr. Douglas: And Tim, I think one of the things that we do well to give a core principle of the practice is that, when somebody comes in and they’re interested in a breast augmentation or a facial rejuvenation procedure, we always give them a quote of what they originally came in for. So if they get swept up and like, “What if I do this? What if I add on that?” We always [inaudible] [0:26:18] down to give them a quote for what their original chief complaint was. And then if they want a quote for the other stuff, great. So that they can have something to compare it against. But most of the time they really just have one issue. And it’s kind of like painting your house, you know, once you paint one wall, you notice the next wall could use a little touch up too. So it’s very easy to keep going on things, but when they get presented with the price tag that can be a little bit of sticker shock sometimes. So, one of our keys is always just giving them the quote for what they came in for.
Tim Sawyer: Yeah. And the other thing, and I’ve always wanted to ask — for some reason, I feel very comfortable with you guys. I’ve always wanted to ask a plastic surgeon, how do you deal with that patient who is a little bit obsessed, right? So they’ve got something that in their mind is incredibly bothersome, but you in your heart know that I don’t know if I can actually treat that. Do you ever get that and how do you balance that?
Dr. Gallus: Oh absolutely. I mean you see it occasionally. Those are patients I think, you never regret not treating. I mean, if it’s obvious that they have a minor problem that is not going to get improved with surgery or whatever it is, you can offer, that patient tends to be unhappy afterwards anyway. So I feel like, what we do in our office is, I mean, like I said, sometimes those patients are, you can see them coming from a mile away. And I just tell them that, you know, I don’t have the expertise that – I don’t think I have the expertise to meet their expectations and I suggest that they either go elsewhere or maybe reconsider having the procedure.
But as a physician, you don’t always see that coming. And so we rely on our office staff and our coordinators to also say, “Hey, I think this person, you know, when I spoke to them on the phone or when you stepped out of the room, they don’t understand. Or they are, you know, they get a weird vibe.” And I think listening to the people in our office as well to get some of that feedback, helps you avoid treating somebody who has maybe body dysmorphia or other issues with the wrong motivation.
Dr. Douglas: I think the temptation for a lot of younger surgeons or people just entering practice, is if they don’t have the experience some times to recognize some of those red flags. And like you mentioned the practice of aesthetic medicine, plastic surgery is a for-profit business. So we get people – when you open a new practice, you get people coming in the doors. The temptation is to try to say yes to everything, when in reality, no is sometimes a very good answer.
Tim Sawyer: Right. It sounds like you guys are very grounded principally, and in align and what’s funny and then I – we’re going to start winding down in a minute. What’s funny is, so I got in trouble, four years ago I was in The Bahamas and we were hanging with my business partner, Adam DeGraide, I don’t know if you’ve met Adam. He and I were down there and we had brought some employees with us and their significant others. And I was at the table, we were having dinner and I had been relaxing a little bit, I had a few drinks and my wife was with me and I’ve been married 27 years to put it in perspective.
And I said, you know, I think I said, “Having a business partner is almost harder than at some level being married, because when you’re married, something flares up, you can kind of go to your own corner for a little bit and regroup. In business, if you have a conflict, in a business partnership, you have to deal with it right away because the world continues to go by.” So what advice do you guys have? Clearly you’re making it work because you’re aligned philosophically. What advice do you guys have for people contemplating having a partner in their plastic surgery practice? What’s like the top three things you got to do to make it work?
Dr. Gallus: I think you have to be realistic about the expectations of both parties. And I think what makes it work for us a little bit is that we entered at an even level. So a lot of partnerships in plastic surgery are a much senior plastic surgeon who’s bringing someone junior on. And if you’re not honest about what that’s looking like and what that’s going to look like in three years, five years or 10 years, that can lead to a lot of problems and people feeling, you know, either unfairly taken advantage of, or you know, not getting what they wanted out of the partnership.
That’s the usual problem. I think also what helps us is we do work with a consultant. So a third party person who takes outside look and I know Crystal Clear offers that as well, to look at how the business is going. And sometimes our consultant functions a little bit like a mediator or a life coach when we have a question or a problem presented and we have different takes on how that should look. And she often provides like a perspective so that we can, you know, like you said, you have to come to a conclusion and move forward. You can’t just sleep on it or you know, get to it later.
Tim Sawyer: Right. Is that your take on it Dr. Douglas?
Dr. Douglas: Yeah, that’s my taken. And Kat’s quite tired of me telling this joke. But I will tell everybody, like I’ve known her longer than I’ve known my wife.
Dr. Gallus: And he also knows I’m tired of that joke.
Dr. Douglas: And I know that she’s tired of that joke. But I think a lot of it is, you know, having a partnership or a practice in very similar to marriage. And you have your ups and downs and good days and bad days and you can’t always be in 100% lock step on every single decision and every single process. So we will have our little arguments, sparks and fights like a married couple would. But at the end of the day, it comes down to making good decisions for ourselves, our families and our practice. And that’s ultimately what lets us continue to build a very strong brand and practice.
And every day this hill gets a little bit, you know, not as steep and the stone that we’re pushing that hill up gets a little bit lighter. So it’s been a really fun adventure starting our practice from the ground up, literally with nothing, doing a complete office build out, building our own website, literally writing almost every word of the content of that. Working with you guys at Crystal Clear for SEO and marketing has been fantastic. And then just making good decisions about where we’ve set up the practice and the clientele and our target demographic patient population.
Tim Sawyer: Well, you guys get it going on. So what’s the next couple three years look like for your practice? What would you want the world to know?
Dr. Gallus: Good question, I think we want everybody to know that we’re here in San Diego, we’re available to see patients and we really enjoy what we do, which is providing surgical capabilities and some noninvasive laser stuff but we’re here to offer San Diego our surgical skills and a comprehensive treatment plan. So, take taking care of the patient all the way through.
Tim Sawyer: Do you – I’m curious about this Dr. Gallus. When you sit down with someone, and they say “Yeah, you know, I want to do this.” Do you guys have a process? And I know I’m digressing a little bit, but do you have a process to say, “Hey, this is what we think is the – this is a comprehensive treatment plan. So, A, B, C, D,” because I don’t hear that a lot in practices. And I think it’s really important to say, “Hey, this is – I know you’re here to do this but these are the things that you could do in over the next two to three years.” Do you guys do much with the [inaudible] [0:34:33]?
Dr. Gallus: Yeah, I think it’s important to discuss the whole plan what – especially with the breast surgery which we do a lot of is, you know, this is in a lifetime device. If you’re in your early 20s and you haven’t had kids yet, this is what may or may not happen down the road. And then also for the short-term plan I think a lot of times before someone gets to the office, like have you considered what your recovery plan is, what do you do for a living? Like, can you take two weeks off of work do you need, you know, all of that. This is what your return to activity is going to look like. And for a lot of our patients, which are moms figuring that out and helping them get that and not just be like, “Oh you’ll be fine after surgery,” so they’ve made arrangements for somebody to drive their kids around or whatever it is; understanding it from that perspective is important for the patient.
Dr. Douglas: And to tag on to that too Tim, I think for some of the facial rejuvenation patients, they will show up in various stages of need and desire. So, working with them from starting with their skincare regimen and then talking to them about noninvasive fillers, Botox, laser treatments, and then progressing into surgical treatments or vice versa. They want surgery first and then on the back end they want to work on their skin and take things up if it is in parallel lines with laser treatments. There are a couple different ways to go, and one of the great things that we have in office is our vector 3D camera.
So, using that for both face rejuvenation, breast and body really lets us get in there and develop a customized treatment plan that’s really set everybody’s individual features, their own recovery timeline, their budget, and what their aesthetic goals are. So, we want to have that very boutique concierge experience with our patients and take the time to let – not only listen to them, but show them real simulated results that what’s going to look like on their own body not going through before and after galleries or old picture books. But right there on the computer in the 3D imaging software, what it can look like on them.
Tim Sawyer: I can tell you guys genuinely care about these folks. And you take the time and, you know, you give them an experience they deserve and I’m sure that’s why the business is going to thrive, your practice will thrive. And you guys will do amazing things because I can tell, and it comes out particularly with your involvement Dr. Gallus in the ethics piece of it.
That’s really important, you know, and hopefully in this because we – I feel like we’re in a gold rush in a way obviously the world is becoming obsessed at some level with the way they look. And so, it’s a boom and to stay grounded and run an ethical practice and actually focus on the patient. That’s going to be – I think the only thing that could harm the aesthetic industry, because if you look at it in terms of just dollars, it’s one of the fastest growing segments of the US economy, if not the fastest growing segment. The only thing that will kill it would be the players, right? If we all lose our minds and get away from what, you know, what actually makes this work and to your point Dr. Douglas, patients’ safety is a big piece, right? There’s not a week that goes by that you don’t see an article somewhere, where someone burned somebody’s face or had a botched procedure. And I think that’s going to be the key. So lastly, are you guys going to be at any shows coming up sooner? Go ahead Dr. Douglas I’m sorry.
Dr. Douglas: The thought that just jumped out and I think it’s very much a hot topic is medical tourism. I mean, you see articles all the time, people trying to save money going to the Dominican Republic, or in the San Diego area just south of the border in Tijuana. We’ve been here long enough that we’ve seen enough crazy things come back across the border that requires significant and often more expensive treatment to treat the complications, than it would have been to see a board certified plastic surgeon here in the US.
So that’s one of our really big things on patient safety and making sure you’re seeing a truly credential provider with the right training who’s going to treat you well. And we of course hope people come to see us, but if they don’t choose us, then we want them to choose a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Tim Sawyer: Yeah, agreed. And so are you guys heading to any shows anytime soon? Book deals coming up? Anything exciting going on?
Dr. Gallus: We have the American Society of Plastic Surgery, the annual meeting is in San Diego this September, so we’ll both be there. Yes, so that’s a big show-.
Tim Sawyer: We’ll you be there?
Dr. Gallus: Yeah, we’ll come by and say hi. I start my – I’m a visiting professor for the Plastic Surgery Foundation this year, I’m one of the, I think 9th. And so, I kick off my academic year, if you will; visiting five different University Plastic Surgery Residency Programs. My first visit will be at UCLA in September as well and then I move on from there. So yeah, I’ll be traveling a bit this year in general for that and then we have that ASPS meeting. And then I think the next meeting would be in the spring time right time.
Dr. Douglas: Spring time. Yeah I’ve got the Strategic Planning Conference for the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery; it’s also here in San Diego in September. So as one of the Board of Directors, I’ll be attending that and then ASPS in September. And then one of the really neat things that ASAPS is sponsoring — for the graduating residents, they have a business of launching your practice course, which this year is going to be in Dallas, December 6th and 7th, I believe, the first weekend in December, in Dallas. And that’s been standing room only packed with all the residents the last couple of years. So that’s a really fun one to be involved with as well.
Tim Sawyer: Nice. Well, I want to say this was awesome. I really enjoyed. First of all, anytime that you spend time talking to people from San Diego, it’s the coolest thing in the world. Are you guys Ron Burgundy fans?
Dr. Douglas: Yeah.
Dr. Gallus: Yeah, keep it classy.
Tim Sawyer: He’s got a podcast, that persona, Ron Burgundy has a podcast. Yeah, he just renewed it – will – whatever [crosstalk] [0:41:26] Yeah. So he just renewed it for another year, he was on all the late night shows talking about his Ron Burgundy podcast. It’s amazing. So you can’t go wrong when you hang out with cool folks from San Diego. And I want to congratulate you guys on the amazing practice that you’re building together and congratulate you on your partnership and congratulate you on your commitment to the ethical, safe and profitable treatment of your patience. I think that’s a real gem in the world that we live in today. So I want to thank you guys. And hopefully I only have one more request you know what that is?
Dr. Gallus: Okay.
Dr. Douglas: What can we do for you Tim?
Tim Sawyer: Six months from now you come back on the program and share your experiences and where you’re headed next. Would that be okay?
Dr. Douglas: That’d be fantastic. We’d love to do that.
Dr. Gallus: Yeah, it sounds great.
Tim Sawyer: All right guys I really appreciate your time. Thank you.
Dr. Douglas: All right thanks Tim.
Dr. Gallus: Thank you. Bye.
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