Top 10 Takeaways from Successful Plastic Surgeons

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10 Take-a-Ways From Successful Plastic Surgeons

I started my Beauty and the Biz podcast 2 years ago because it’s no longer enough to be a great cosmetic surgeon. So, to celebrate, I recorded a special 100th episode entitled, ” 10 Take-a-Ways From Successful Plastic Surgeons.”

Good marketers often beat out excellent surgeons – at least in the short run so this podcast is to keep you on track and remind you of what’s important.

The cosmetic rejuvenation industry has evolved with different rules and strategies so it’s time to up your own game.

Because if you really want to be successful, you have to Adapt to Change.

Top 10 Take-a-Ways of Successful Plastic Surgeons and How to Use Them in Your Practice

successful plastic surgeonsIt’s about staying nibble in your thinking because:

The marketplace has changed

Attitudes about cosmetic rejuvenation have changed

The marketing channels have changed

The patient preferences have changed and how they choose a service provider have changed.

So, you need to change with them, or you’ll get left in the dust.

For my 100th special edition, I compiled the Top 10 Take-a-ways I learned from the many plastic surgeons I interviewed.

These surgeons have been in practice ranging from 4 months to 46 years.

A majority are in solo practice, some are in practice with a partner, and some have multiple partners.

So I reviewed the interviews I’ve done with 28 plastic and cosmetic surgeons around the nation, and in Lebanon, to give you my top 10 take-a-ways of what they are doing to succeed:

Let’s get started:

Take-a-way #1. They have a Growth Mindset

I noticed the plastic surgeons I interviewed were big thinkers. They had a growth and abundant mindset and
they focused on the bigger picture. For example, they:

  • Believe their abilities can be developed.
  • Are open to growing as a person, surgeon and business person.
  • Were passionate about growing their practice and always striving to be better.
  • Pushed the envelope, learn, evolve and change.
  • Stay open to life and opps that comes their way
  • Think positive and are optimistic about their future
  • Have resilience and see change as an opportunity to grow
  • Believe their efforts determine their abilities and growth.
  • Stayed open to new technologies, marketing trends and surgical techniques.

Take-a-way #2: They learn new skills

Many surgeons have decided they are good at surgery but not good at managing people or business or marketing. So their minds are shut down to learning . Maybe because they spent so much time as a student, they are done. Or business wasn’t taught in medical school so they are closed to learning new skills.

The successful surgeons open their minds and learn the business of plastic surgery by reading books, joining masterminds

  • They study and believe the sayings:
  • Earners are Learners and Leaders are readers
  • They believe they can learn to do anything and like to try new things vs. sticking to what they already know.”

Take-a-way #3: They know their numbers and do the following

  • Manage their money.
  • Watch their expenses and know their ROI on their SX and non-SX procedures as well as their marketing efforts.
  • Have goals they are trying to hit, and the staff knows them as well.
  • Rather than abdicate their responsibility, they take full responsibility for knowing what’s happening in their practice.
  • They have a bookkeeper and accountant to do the work, but they review the work and numbers regularly so there are no surprises.
  • Review the bank statements and ask questions, so staff knows they are watching the numbers.

Take-a-way #4: They treat their team like an asset rather than a liability and

Plastic Surgeons know that their staff is not an overhead expense and they:

  • Know they can’t do this alone and need a team supporting them
  • Meet with their team regularly and get their feedback from the front lines
  • Have a trusted right-hand helping them keep the business side running smoothly
  • Have a Team Concept
  • Respect the staff to be professionals but still….they Trust AND Verify
  • Build a culture of a team with a purpose
  • Philanthropic efforts to give back are a key part of their culture
  • They meet with staff regularly to lead them and keep them in the loop.

They set up a culture of excellence and offer good pay, team bonuses, free additional training to better the staff so they grow as well as incentives and appreciation including team parties, food trucks, and in-house masseuse to keep it fun. And, they hire slow and fire fast if someone does not fit with their culture.

Take-a-way #5: They have a “patients for life” mindset and they

  • See their patients as friends and family and treat them with respect.
  • Understand that these happy patients can be patients for decades and refer their friends and family and return for more.
  • Know it’s far easier to KEEP these patients coming back so they offer comprehensive services to include all stages in life.
  • Actually, Dr. Grant Stevens reported on average cosmetic patients have 3 SX over 22 years for a value of $80K-$120K.
  • Attract more sophisticated patients who know you get what you pay for vs. catering to the price-sensitive who don’t value skill and experience as much as saving money.
  • They go above and beyond to take care of their patients by offering their cell phone and one surgeon even did house calls.
  • Rather than discount their surgery they added value instead. For example, facelifts came with skin rejuvenation laser treatments and lymphatic massage came with liposuction.

Take-a-way #6: They fail and learn from it and they

  • See failure as an opportunity to grow rather than a limit on their abilities.
  • Know failure is just feedback and they try again.
  • See challenges as a good thing vs. I don’t like to be challenged.
  • Stay curious and ask lots of questions
  • Take responsibility for everything that happens in their practice and they deal with it professionally.
  • They React Quickly to Issues that come up and think solutions.

Here is an key example of success tips from plastic surgeons, a practice was losing 30% of patients who couldn’t afford big surgical cases, so one surgeon started his own internal financing service.  And, During the COVID shutdown, many used that time as an opportunity to keep staff busy with training, improving their systems, and fine-tuning their processes.

Take-a-way #7: They Don’t Care What Others Think About Them and

  • Stay focused on what they are doing more than what their competitors are doing
  • Don’t care as much what their critics say about them as they do what their patients say about them then since they are the ones paying the surgeon’s bills.
  • Do care what their patients think about them and they learn from their bad reviews
  • Meet with their staff to ask, “Is there any truth to this criticism?” and How can we do better?

Take-a-way #8: They Spend Money to Make Money and they

  • Know money buys them time
  • See marketing as an investment
  • Rather than focus on saving money – they focus on making money
  • Think abundance vs. scarcity
  • Know you can’t shrink your way to success – you can cut some expenses, but the real way to wealth is to focus on assets and income.
  • They are frugal with their time, not their money
  • Understand the opp costs of doing things that should be outsourced such as learning SEO and writing your own web copy.
  • They have win-win relationships with their vendors who help them succeed during COVID, several surgeons doubled down on their marketing and cut deals with advertisers when everyone else pulled back. That allowed them to gain attention and market share.
  • Give money away. They donate to worthy causes because it gives their staff the “why” they do what they do and a common purpose for the whole team and it makes everyone feel good.

Take-a-way #9: They Keep Their Ego in Check & control their emotions and

  • Are even-tempered and treat everyone with respect.
  • Are opened to being wrong if it helps the practice grow
  • See feedback as constructive vs. taking feedback and criticism personally.
  • Take responsibility and don’t blame staff, the competition, or the government.
  • Get outside help to discover what they don’t know that is holding them back.
  • They ask Questions vs. being a Know-it-All.
  • Stay open to ideas and suggestions from their staff and advisors.
  • They are able to let go of control and micro-managing because they trust the people around them
  • Are competitive by nature and use that for motivation to grow
  • Stay curious by visiting other practices, attending conferences, and talking with their colleagues to learn what others are doing that’s working.
  • They are always honing their kraft to make them the best at what they do
  • When a challenge comes up, they focus on solutions, rather than running from it and hoping it goes away.
  • Eliminate practice drags such as draining staff and difficult patients.
  • They also delegate tasks they dislike doing to people they trust, but they also follow up to be sure it’s getting done.

And take-a-way #10:They think big

  • Grow uncomfortable being the only revenue-generator in the practice.
  • They look for ways to leverage their reputation, experience, and staff.
  • Figure out how to scale by working ON their practice rather than IN it.
  • See they could do more than just surgery.
  • Look at other streams of income rather than work harder and longer which leads to burnout and ineffectiveness.
  • Spend more time finding, managing and mentoring key players in their practice who become major revenue generators so the surgeon can focus more on the business side such as adding more surgeons, injectors, aestheticians and locations.

And there you have it!

The 10 take-a-ways Success Tips from Plastic Surgeons from those  I have interviewed.

You may want to listen to that again since it contains lots of pearls to consider when creating your own roadmap to success.

And, of course, please contact me if you could use some guidance rating your own practice.

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A Complete Guide to Understanding Your Aesthetic Patient and Growing Your Aesthetic Practice. Catherine Maley, MBA went straight to the aesthetic patient to get the answers you need to succeed with your patients.


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Catherine Maley

Catherine is a business/marketing consultant to plastic surgeons. She speaks at medical conferences all over the world on practice building, marketing and the business side of plastic surgery. Get a Free Copy of her popular book, Your Aesthetic Practice: What Your Patients Are Saying View Author Profile.

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