Welcome to today’s episode of true to form with your host president and co-founder of crystal clear, highly regarded speaker. And to time inc 500 entrepreneur, Tim Sawyer, true to form is a podcast that highlights leaders making headway in the ascetic anti-aging and elected medical industry. Learn from the experts to discover the secrets of success and pitfalls to avoid when growing all aspects of your elective medical practice. This week’s episode is brought to you by Candela, a leading US-based global medical aesthetic device company engineering technology that enables practices to provide advanced solutions for a broad range of medical aesthetic application, including hair removal, wrinkle reduction, tattoo removal, women’s health treatments, facial resurfacing, traumatic and surgical scar treatments, body contouring, improving the skin’s appearance through the treatment of benign vascular and pigmented lesions and the treatment of acne leg, veins, and cellulite. Please join me in welcoming your host, the authentic, the transparent Tim Sawyer. Hello, and welcome to Trudeau.
The podcast that connects you to the people technology and hot topics that shaped the elective medical community provided to you by crystal clear and brought to you by this week, sponsor Candela, the leading US-based medical aesthetics device company. I’m your host, Tim Sawyer, char returning guests. Welcome back. And for our first time listeners, we appreciate you joining us and encourage you to become a subscriber. The last episode we spoke with two highly successful Chicago based aesthetic practice owners, Christina IMEs, and Ellen Davitt who shared strategies for staying dialed in and mentally focused on your business during today’s turbulent times, literally in Chicago in the midst of this. And we were excited to hear that they are literally as busy as ever with all that said, we have one of the greats in the aesthetic industry today, a long-time friend, he appeared in one of our first episodes, more than 12,000 downloads ago.
He’s so he’s an original gangster to the program. We’re grateful to have him. We have Dr. Stanley Okoro, who is an internationally renowned plastic surgeon and is locally known as the bow tie doctor. He is the most dapper dressed guy you’ll ever meet. He is double board certified. He’s a double board certified plastic surgeon who offers customized cosmetic plastic surgical procedures at his private practice location in Metro, Atlanta, Georgia. His international practice locations are Legos and Abouchar Nigeria. He has an extensive experience in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the breast body and face dr. Cora, welcome to the program. Thank you very much, Tam for that wonderful introduction. Wow. It does you no justice, no justice whatsoever. Hopefully you’re, you’re dressed casual today. I know Friday’s schedule for You today to
See. There you go. So Dr. Okoro, one of the things that we’d like to do when we have guests like yourself on the program is to try to get to a hundred, just to get to know you a little bit better as a human, obviously a double board certified plastic surgeon. You’re doing a lot of done, a lot of great things in your life, but talk about that journey. What was the primary influence in your life when you said that you had that aha moment where you said, you know, I think, I think I want to pursue that. Tell us about that
For plastic surgery. So as many of you know, I was, I mean, I’m originally from Nigeria is born and raised in Nigeria. I came to this country to study medicine out of high school, uh, cause that’s how I was raised. But then I became a doctor at Meharry medical college and I became a surgeon at Emory university hospital Atlanta while I was on, um, doing my general surgery training at Emory. Um, I of course had patients that had breast cancer. Well, one of my patient requested breast reconstruction. And at that time at Emory, um, was a great plastic surgeon, never dr. John Bostwick. And, um, he, he agreed to reconstruct this patient’s breast. So I asked my generals or the attending at the, to the mastectomy, if I could stay around to see this breast reconstruction because I had done, I didn’t know about it.
So I mean, that was the most interesting thing I’ve ever seen in my life at that point. So I stayed in and he did tramp breast reconstruction and that was crazy how he could take the abdominal fat and skin and push it to the chest and becomes breast out of it. I want to do that. Wow. Um, long story, I was already engaged with the United States Navy as a general surgeon, I called the Navy. I said, Hey guys, um, change your plans. I would want, I want to do plastic surgery now. And they were like, um, no, they said you could come in as a general surgeon. So the birth week I’ve approached, approached him prior to that. He said, well, if the Navy says, okay, I will train you at Emory. They said, no, I went to Emory. And I went back to the Navy after I finished that Emory.
And then I practiced as a general surgeon for four years at the United States Navy for every year. I keep asking them to let me go, like let my people go. And they said, Oh no, no, no, no. The last year they said finally bugged us enough. Let him do it already. So they allowed me to go apply for, uh, plastic surgery residency, which I did grit. I enjoy my, my, my time in San Antonio, university of Texas San Antonio trend, um, there and went back into the Navy as a plastic surgeon, threes my time in the Navy and came at Atlanta. That is the story shortfall.
Well, it’s, it’s amazing. And you do, um, I’m assuming you still do some breast reconstruction, right? Is that
Yeah, I do. That’s what brought me into this field. So you can’t, you know, I, I don’t do it as much as I used to because my practice has been overwhelmed with cosmetic aesthetic services, but I still perform breast reconstruction, at least when I do mission work now as well.
Right. And that’s one of the questions that I wanted to ask you was, I know you’ve got also have a location in Nigeria. How often do you get, how did you S w when did you start that? How did you start that and how often do you,
So, um, you know, it’s always good to give back thing, you know, so, you know, w in this ward, a lot of people just take, take, take, take, you gotta give back. I do. I truly believe my, my father is a philanthropist. And, um, one of the reasons why I became a doctor was, um, he had built a hospital in the village, a philanthropic hospital. That’s where I had my pen, the commitment. So I’ve always vowed to give back. So I wasn’t in medical surgical mission in Nigeria, probably in 2011, 2010, something like that. And then I, it patient, um, came to the admission, asking for Tomita. Ooh, yeah, that is making it suck. And then I turned around and I saw a big ad in newspaper by an Indian hospital advertising for plastic surgery services in Nigeria. And my friends told me that a lot of Nigeria’s are traveling to India to get plastic surgery. And I was like, am I chopped liver? So this is true. Story can make this up. So I told him, like I said, there’s a lot of cosmetics, so good away from Nigeria. I need to reverse this medical tourism. So we, we established Abuja plastics, um, in 2012. And that’s when I started going back to Nigeria every two to three months. I haven’t been back since COVID though, you know?
Yeah. Yeah. Now how, what is the climate like curious question. What’s the climate like in Nigeria around COVID are people doing electric procedures now? Is that still busy and active?
No, uh, it says COVID, everything’s been kind of shut down just like it was here initially. Um, then the country took it a little seriously. They literally shut down the country, shut down. L as, as matter of fact, airlines has seen a flying, uh, um, I heard they’ll be opening up in this month. So this electric substance that can have a slow stage of recovery right in there. So I have not traveled to Nigeria. Um, we even had a medical mission scheduled and we had to cancel that. So I feel I still have two kinds of trips to Nigeria. One is a medical mission where I get freakier, elaborate friends, join me for that. I continue to do that. But outside of that, I have a separate practice in, in big city, like Legos and Buddha, where I provide aesthetic services. And those aesthetic services actually pay for the humanitarian service. I don’t know if that makes sense.
It does make sense. And you’re like you said, you’re a good person and you, you believe in giving back. And I think, you know, the world needs a little bit more of that. And, um, it’s great to see. It really is great to see, and which leads me into my next question around the climate is so you’re in Atlanta and I assume Atlanta is full it’s I guess, is that fully operational now? And what’s that environment like,
As you probably know, early may, Atlanta, Georgia, Georgia, as a whole was the first country to go back to work right now. Right? You guys remember that? So we started earlier than anybody else. So, uh, May 5th, I think that was when our governor allowed us to go back to work. And I mean, it’s been, we’re close with two months prior to that. And since we opened up, it has been gangbusters team. It’s been so busy people. This is crazy. I’ve never been, so, uh, have, have never been this busy in my, in my professional life, honestly,
That is unbelievable. And how much of that Dr. Okoro is in your mind, your estimation is backlog versus just new new patients coming in and saying, yeah, I want to get something done.
Um, initially we had, of course we have cancer locations. Um, their backlog happened in early may, so that’s why we did it. You know, we, because there’s two of us massive on dr. Park. We cleared a backlog in may because we was two of us two, or we just knocked that out in may. But the thing is, there’s this, there’s this new phenomenon. We, in our practice, we call it the COVID fats. So people are saying home, of course, enjoying life and have time to recover. And also some of them have expendable income. They don’t spend money on traveling anymore. So they are using this money to enhance themselves. So, um, these are new patients, new people are coming in into the space. People have been thinking about plastic surgery, didn’t have the time for downtime and everything. Now they’re working from home. Um, so the, the COVID had, has a, a, this, a side effect of COVID, which is good for this industry. I think,
You know, what’s interesting. I was speaking with someone yesterday who, you know, I believe Christina IMEs. And she was the first person that I had interviewed that introduced this concept to thinking that people have disposable income and they don’t have a lot of places to spend it, but travel. So there is a little bit more room in their budget. And like you said, they’re, they’re spending it to enhance themselves. So you’re the second person to bring that up and there’s gotta be something to that. And I was on a call with, with some of the folks I’ve mentioned this on the podcast, uh, last week, um, a lot of, uh, high end folks from gout, the Galderma that, you know, those types of people, murderers, um, they’re having one of the best quarters ever so that people are absolutely people who were organized going into COVID are absolutely busier than ever. We were talking to our good friend, Tom [inaudible], dr. Genevieve, do you have a day told me the same thing. He’s never been busier in his entire life, and it’s amazing, but one of the questions I have for you also was what are the conversations different now with the patient coordinators? Meaning is there more talk about safety protocols or people just ready to roll?
Well, I mean, I think you, you hit the nail on the head. I think the practices that are prepared are doing better now. So in terms of safety, like when, for me, like from, in our practice prior to COVID, um, my international practice prepared us for the virtual ward now. So prior to COVID, since 2012, we were doing virtual consults to people all over the world in the entire African continent and mimic middle East to some extent to consult with me virtually. And that’s how we did it until we met them the week of surgery or so. So we were prepared for that, this new environment. So the people who are prepared are doing very well right now. And that’s what was in. So in terms of safety, uh, in our practice, um, what we, we did was a little about the CDC guidelines at that point, where we knew about it, we immediately play some outdoor.
You CA you have to wear a mask. They everybody, so we’re testing everybody in our practice. Everybody got tested before we opened. We were all negative. Every patient that came into our practice after a virtual consult or follow up, have to wear a mask, wash their hands. And this staff has to do the same thing. And before every surgery, the patients were tested. So if both the patient and the staff felt, felt very comfortable now, in terms of patient care coordinator, we had an issues initially sought a patient care coordinator was scape, come back to work. So, you know, that cricket another, so patients were willing to come. Some of the staff didn’t want to work. So it was a very unique situation that we had to ha you know, handle to get where we are right now.
Yeah, it’s interesting because you know, the economics of, of some of the policies put forth, um, around unemployment benefits, that type of thing, dynamic, that was,
Uh, uh, I was a victim of that. So, so my, I mean, the, I mean, even though we pay them well, um, they said they were making just enough to get them by that they didn’t need the extra money that would’ve met up at the office. Uh, we didn’t with raises initially. Um, and then some of them started to look for work where they can work remotely. Of course, I couldn’t do plastic surgery remotely. So I wish I could maybe in the future.
Yeah. The first guy to invent that robot is going to be in good shape.
I know that’d be awesome.
It would be awesome. The other, the doubt, the exciting stuff I want to talk about too, is you, you have this amazing personality and I want to talk about your social media thinking and your presence. But I want to preface that by, I have you said something in a speech you gave at the, I believe it was the amps, Bob medical show this spring, this past spring. And I have,
Yeah. Oh my God. Yes. A years ago.
Yeah. But I want to say, I have literally quote and I always attribute the quote to you. I have repeated one of the statements you made an Audrey noses, probably 500 times. It was so profound. You probably don’t even know what I’m going to say, but it will be. You said to me, there’s two types of people on the internet, people who consume content and people who produce content best. Yes. And it hit me like a ton of bricks because what it made me think about was how much time I waste consume useless content. When I could be doing a podcast, I could be writing an article. I could be creating cool posts. I could be doing online webinars. So it was, it’s a lifestyle. It’s a huge time suck. And you said, I made a decision at that point that I was going to be mindful of produce being a producer of content, more so than a consumer of content. And it was so prophetic. So talk a little bit about your thinking around that and your social media efforts right now.
Uh, yes. So I truly believe in that. Yeah. There are two kinds of people in the world, consumers and producers. So you have to make a decision where you belong. If you’re a consumer, then, then you consume what other people produce. If you’re a producer, then people consume what you produce. So as I, as an as aesthetic plastic surgeon, I, you know, what we’re doing right now is, um, I, we do have our very own, um, social media, uh, coordinator, how job in the practice is social media coordinator. She coordinates all of our social media effort from, from Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and some other ones I can’t even pick up. So I told her, we have to produce every day. You have to post something every day because you have to engage your audience if you’re not producing them, because majority of the people on this planet as consumers.
Right? Right. So if you’re not producing, they will go somewhere to feed that, that, um, hunger for, for content. So we have the, so that’s the, the idea that we have in our practice, we have to constantly produce a 10 tick product for people to consume. And, uh, we then took it to the next level where we are so doing live surgery, like the whole thing we, so we have our own show. Now the biggest show that we did at one point, I mean, I w I was blown out. Um, I one this year during, uh, during the pandemic, I had over 10,000 people watching me live. And that was crazy. And then that, that particular one over 60, at over 200 people have seen that particular episode. And this just keeps on happening every time. And then every time we’ll go live, I go live on everything. Like from Tommy up the BPL to lipidomic plasty to whatever,
Right? How do you respond to those surgeons? Doctors who say, I don’t know how these guys do it. Where do they find the time to do this stuff?
Well, I mean, the, the, the, the, this is, I mean, you have to run your practice as a business. You know, this, we, we call ourselves the, so thanks to crystal clear, the social side, we call our private practice. That is a social where we have a social practice is social practice, our patients, uh, uh, um, requesting this stuff. So it’s, you have to adapt. If you don’t adapt, then you are dying essentially. Okay. It business. I mean, majority of the world now want or requests. It’s also social proven many patients. I mean, you console right now. How’d you find about us? Oh, I I’ve been following you on Instagram. Have you seen me on social media? I know how you’re going to do my surgery. I feel comfortable. I know what’s going to happen. I don’t even need to work hard on that. This is like somebody that’s been following me for years.
Seeing the, certainly seen it before and after knows exactly it. Wasn’t happening to opportunity room theater. There is no mystery. We’ve demystified the opportunity room and prove that it’s safe to do that. We, I tell them, I feel comfortable enough that things are going to go where that we’re going to go live. We donated. And that’s what you see is what you get. I, my team everybody’s, everybody’s in my team, we’re all engaged on this stuff. Okay? So if you don’t, if you don’t want to adapt, then that may be why your practice is not growing. Maybe, maybe you are where you, you are, where you want to be. Maybe you’re comfortable, but most practices I know, want to grow. If you want to go to your aesthetic practice, I think you have to adapt. So you don’t have to go life for us. We, we, we, we don’t have to, I don’t have time to do all that stuff.
So I hired someone who went to school for this. That’s their training. And that’s all he does for us. As matter of fact, we were looking to hire somebody else to help her because she can’t keep up. She just, literally, I produce so much content. She can keep up. I mean, Tim, I’m walking down the hallway. I say, follow me because I can talk about anything you want to talk about. What do you want to talk about to the breast reduction, breast lift, fifth facelifts, Juvederm, whatever. I will talk about it. And that’s content somebody may know, may never heard of like the new thing I’m doing. That is the lack of the wildlife. And nobody knows what a while it is, you know, that kind of stuff. So that’s that that’s. So we are adapting to the new environment while holding to our traditions as well, you know?
Yeah. And I think you, you said something again, that’s, that’s very profound. You said we have a social practice. So the culture, what it sounds like I’m hearing is the culture in your practice for your team is a social culture. In other words, they get that, you know, as much as this is a practice and a business at some level, it’s a production.
There is a production as not a fact. Let me share another secret, which you could say, if you have some of this fine, everyone that is not team everyone that we hire, there’s a consent they have to sign is a social media consent. If you want to be in our team, you have to sign it. So everybody knows that this is now a business we’re in the business of producing medical or surgical contents. Okay. So they have to sign it. We know the lingo. It’s just part of who we are. Um, the other thing it creates team I’ve noticed is actually something that people talk about, but don’t know how to do it. It’s a social transparency. Okay.
Huh? I said, talk about that. Tell us about,
So social transparency is also is related to social proof, social proof of what is one thing, you know, people follow you, but now they know who you are. They know what you are about the know what you do, and they know how you do it so efficient. You’ve proved yourself socially. And now you’re very transparent. So if patients, if the patients are seen in clinic, in surgery and in between, they know everything about the practice. So we tell them our practices very transparent. There’s nothing to hide. What you see is what you get. And I mean, they’re, they’ll reward us by like, I mean, I’m, I’m so blessed right now. And I thank God and I don’t take it for granted that, um, you know, I’m booked up, but two to three most now, thank God. You know what I’m saying? Like fully booked, thank God for that. Um, and we will need, I’m not like the dr. Miami yet, you know, situation, but I think we’re doing, I know Michael, if you’re listening, we’re coming,
He’s, he’s become a friend too. He’s got an interesting, really cool model to your point to him. It’s it is absolutely a production between the TV show. The TV program that you know is online TV program and, um, partnering with a lot of folks in his community. The fact that he’s got songs written about him, you know, he, he, he understands that the PR function of it and there aren’t a lot of doctors that get that. And it kind of what happens is they think, okay, I’m a good surgeon. So therefore I should just be busy. And I don’t think I would have it.
It doesn’t work that way anymore. I mean, the, the war is so social and, and I mean, you see have to be a great surgeon. You have to have the knowledge and the skill, but you also have to have something else. You have to have the personality, you have to connect with people. Okay. I mean, as you, as you probably know, team people do business on people that they know, right? Yep. That’s it proven, that’s it proven concept. People will do business with people that they know. They don’t know you from Adam. So how are they going to know you? Social media? That’s the answer, answer to that, or a referral by, you know, pre previous patient or friend or doctor or something like that. But, um, the level and field for all of those stuff is social media. When I moved back to Atlanta, after serving in the Navy, um, there was a lot of plastic just in Atlanta as a new guy. How was I going to level the playing field? You know, it was digital medicine who literally did just pass the surgery and social media as part of that.
Let me ask you, as we start to wind down, I do want to, um, I’m curious, I, I, haven’t had a chance to ask, um, someone like yourself, this question yet, how are you guys doing? I know, you know, how many shows I typically do was doing in a year. I know you go to in a year, how are you doing? Are you missing? That, is that part of the, the fuel that keeps you going, is getting with your peers and colleagues. And how is that going for you?
Well, I mean, you know, we are, we are social, I’m using a lot of social today. My God, we are social beings. So I miss my friends, you know, connecting with them at the shows. Um, I think we all understand that, um, we had to cut back. Um, so I think 2021 will be an awesome year. Hopefully we will be able to connect and try. I love to travel a lot. Unreal, lots of travel team. It’s for me, it’s a getaway when I’m not going through the show, I’m going to Nigeria for the medical mission or the practice. I just love to travel, but that’s, that’s one of the things I love to do. So I definitely miss that part.
Uh, not only do I miss it, crystal clear Mississippi, because that’s where we get all our customers.
Oh, it’s true. It’s true. Yeah.
Well, fortunately for us, we were able to pivot quickly, uh, because we had great relationships with a lot of vendors in the community. So between us, you know, kind of working together to create online content, a lot of online content. And of course, Audrey’s genius. We’ve been able to like, you stay busy. And, um, I’m grateful for that. That has been a little weird and I don’t want to make this about me, but I haven’t been in an airplane in six months. I did 40 trips last year. So it’s, um, but it’s made me reflect on a lot of things like, like a lot of people. And so I’m grateful for that is so what, what to expect down the back half, really, I guess, to the last four months of 2020, you just kind of hunker down and keep working. What’s your plan?
So we we’ve been doing some things. Um, I think you may, you may or may not know this have been working with crystal clear. We are starting with something new. Um, so we are doing, we have so many patients, our practice going through a website, filling out, um, they online contact forms and all those things and the lead, they’re not as tough. So then, you know, after doing the pandemic, we didn’t have enough staff to do all that stuff was a lot them. Do you want to come back to work? And we were overwhelmed on what, who we had. So we, I called some requisite class. I don’t want to get is a weird request team.
We had a request.
This request that I think was what’s his name, Joe? I said, Joe, I don’t want to get leads anymore.
I remember it was totally counter intuitive plane. So that stuck talking about the project. So I said, um, I don’t want to get levy
Anymore. There’s too many leads and we can catch up with them. Is there a way we can go from leads to consultation? So we worked out and now when you go to our website, um, um, the deposit.com you, you, there’s no contact form. It says book consultation. Now you book a consultation is it’s like a contact form, but you have to pay for it. Now, I don’t want to waste my time chasing leads. So if you want me to chase you, you pay for it, pay for the consultation online. So we know we are serious. That’s what we’ll do. And, and Joe came to Atlanta, flew to Atlanta. We looked at it at that time. We just started doing it for a month. We had 53 people pay online that we didn’t have to chase around or call the pay for the competition. Online booked and major to them, did a consultation, booked surgery, just think, let that process for one minute, nobody had to call them.
They went to the website here. The form could not submit the form until they paid for a consultation. So the concert is paid already. I didn’t have, and then we’ve called them, say, what did you want based on what they give us. And then we, we did their virtual online consult with them and they book surgery and that is going to revolutionize our industry, uh, because I mean, unless if you want to keep on chasing leads, that’s fine. I don’t want to just lose anymore. I want to chase consultation and surgery. Yes. So that’s what we’re doing. We’re going to perfect it very soon. Um, so it’s like a virtual consult page. Um, but yeah, but we are working on crystal clear is helping me do that, actually.
Yeah, that’s, it’s interesting because, uh, you mentioned Michael, um, dr. Miami, he is working towards that same process where you’ve got, uh, you know, as much automation as he can build into that too much back and forth between patient coordinators and, you know, make streamline it and make it more efficient. And Hey, I can tell you’re an innovator man. And you know, you’ve done so many great things. The fact that you’re giving back to society, the fact that you’re a gifted, talented plastic surgeon, I know your family, you’ve got a beautiful family and congratulations, because they’re obviously a reflection of their mom and dad, and the fact that you’re a forward-thinking businessman, um, kind of the whole package and, and that the product that you’re putting on the street, not just in terms of surgical outcomes, but the production in your practice. And I’m sure people love being part of it because it’s cool and it feels cool. Like you’re talking about it. I’m like, this is freaking cool. And, um, I could, I could talk to you forever, but we we’re, we’re running out of time. I really, really do. And, and you still take time to talk to the little guys to come on, Catherine, please, please. Three dogs now, big dogs.
We’re so grateful. So dr. Cora, if somebody had a question, they listen to the podcast to say, I want to shoot this guy an email. Are you okay giving, giving our listeners your email address?
Sure, sure, sure. So, uh, my email address is, uh, very hard to remember dr. email@example.com. Boom,
Yes. Well, Dr. Okoro, we got to wind it down. I, I really, I can’t wait for the, the net, you know, life to open up a little bit and get out there and spend some time with you, share the stage and grab a glass of wine if we can, or a glass of orange juice. And, um, I’m really looking forward to that, but I, I, I sincerely want us to thank you for coming on the program today. Our listeners are going to love it. We really appreciate it. And, um, the last, the last request, I have one thing promise to come back on the program in six months. Would that be okay?
I will be honored to come back any to end. I’ll do anything for you, Tim. You are by the way team, you are a great speaker. I’ve learned a lot from listening to you, even though we are friends. Every time you go on stage, I make a point to listen to you. I learn something every time. Powerful speaker you are. Grit was better. Thanks for the invite. I look forward to coming on the show in the future.
Thank you very much. We want to thank dr. Corey for joining us today. We want to thank our sponsor Candela for their partnership over the last few months, six months. It’s been amazing. And as always, if you want to learn more about crystal clear, if you want to implement some of the projects that dr. Cora is working on with crystal clear, visit the site, crystal clear
Dm.com. That’s crystal clear E m.com. Click on the sales icon, fill out a form or call us on the 800 number. The guys who go up to get it from you. We’ve got a wonderful, special going this month. You check it out on the website.
Thank you everyone for listening. We hope you have an awesome week and we’ll see you again.
Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of true to form brought to you by Candela a leading US-based global medical aesthetic device company engineering technology that enables practices to provide advanced solutions for a broad range of medical aesthetic applications. To learn more about this week’s podcast sponsor, visit Candela medical.com and to learn more about your podcast provider crystal clear, visit crystal clear dmb.com. Be sure to subscribe to the show on all your favorite music apps, including iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud, and tune in to stay up to date with the newest episode. Thank you for listening.