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Transgender Niche — with Regina E. Rodman, MD (Ep. 225)

Hello, and welcome to Beauty and the Biz where we talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery, and how Dr. Rodman has a transgender niche practice.

I’m your host, Catherine Maley, author of Your Aesthetic Practice – What your patients are saying, as well as consultant to plastic surgeons, to get them more patients and more profits.

Now, today’s episode is called “Transgender Niche — with Regina E. Rodman, MD”.

For a surgeon to enter the marketplace in today’s crowded marketplace, it can be daunting. How do you differentiate enough to stand out and capture the attention of patients?

One way is to offer services that your competitors don’t and specialize in a niche market segment, while catering to its unique needs.

⬇️ Click below to hear “Transgender Niche — with Regina E. Rodman, MD”

This week’s Beauty and the Biz Podcast guest is Regina Rodman, MD, a facial plastic and craniofacial surgeon in private practice in Houston and Dubai, specializing in bony contouring of the chin, jaw and forehead.

That training and experience has led her to specialize in gender affirmation and facial feminization where she has quickly built a name and reputation for herself around the US and the world.

Here’s what we talked about:

  • How she quickly learned she was meant to be in solo practice
  • How she built a name for herself in the gender affirmation niche
  • Performing 12-hour surgeries and ½ coming from out-of-town
  • How she markets to this specific niche
Transgender Niche & Practicing in Houston & Dubai — with Regina E. Rodman, MD.jpg

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Transgender Niche — with Regina E. Rodman, MD

 

Catherine Maley, MBA: ​Hello and welcome to Beauty and the Biz, where we talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery, and how Dr. Rodman has a transgender niche practice.

I’m your host, Catherine Maley, author of “Your Aesthetic Practice, What Your Patients Are Saying”, as well as consultant to plastic surgeons to get them more patients and more profits.

Now, today’s special guest is Dr. Regina Rodman, who has a transgender niche practice. She’s a facial plastic surgeon. Plastic and cranial surgeon in private practice in Houston and Dubai, which we’ll talk more about. She’s specializing in bony contouring of the chin, jaw, and forehead.

Now, Dr. Rodman attended Rush University in Chicago for medical school and her Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery training at the University of Texas, Houston. As well as advanced facial plastic surgery at SUNY Upstate.

Now, Dr. Rodman has written numerous articles and speaks all over the world on facial surgery, especially chin and jaw contouring, forehead reduction and facial feminization, and does mission work in India. She also has practices in both Houston and Dubai.

Dr. Rodman, welcome to Beauty and the Biz. It’s a pleasure to have you.

Regina E. Rodman, MD: Thank you. I’m excited to be here.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Oh, terrific. I’m so glad we finally met up at a conference. So, I was able to track you down and get you on the show. So, why facial plastic surgery? Why not some other specialty? How does this relate to or impact your transgender niche practice?

Regina E. Rodman, MD: That’s a good question. So, the truth is, when I was, I always knew I was going to be a surgeon, like without a doubt, just the way that my brain works.

I love surgery because there is a concrete problem that I can fix with my hands and it’s done. What I’m done. So, I always knew it was going to be surgery for me. I actually, when I was in medical school thought that I do orthopedic surgery, or for a minute I was, I was between the two, which is funny to me now because they’re so opposite.

But I wanted, I thought I do, I like orthopedics because I’m really into fitness, I’m really into sports, and I do a lot of stuff on my social media, stuff about fitness, and just kind of like body positivity. But then I just remember I went and chatted with an orthopedic surgeon And he was like hammering something and it was like, doom, doom, and then he goes, okay, that’s good enough.

And I was like, good enough. Like, it should be perfect. And then I remember in anatomy class, first year of med school, we did the head and the neck. Like, I loved it. Everyone else hated it. Cause it’s, there’s so many structures and everything is kind of packed together. And I knew right then. It’s super high real estate.

Everything’s important. You can’t make a mistake. You have to know everything in three dimensions. And for me, that just, like, I knew right then that that’s what I was going to do. I did a lot of art, actually, in my undergrad. And I’ve always liked that, especially 3D art. And so, it just, plastics felt like the nice meld of both of those things.

And like I said, it was really head and neck for me. Like I never really was interested in breast augmentation, body stuff. Although I mean, plastic surgeons do a lot of really amazing microvascular stuff. But for me, it was just always going to be the face.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Gotcha. And then how did you get from fellowship to Houston in your own practice? How does this relate to or impact your transgender niche practice?

What was that journey like? How does this relate to or impact your transgender niche practice?

Regina E. Rodman, MD: Yeah. So, the interesting thing, I had a little bit of a roundabout path, which everybody does kind of like, right? Like, it’s just never what I thought I’d be doing. I really was focused on reconstructive surgery. I wanted to do microvascular. I want to do free flaps, work with cancer patients.

 I was interested in all kinds of reconstruction. So, I did my fellowship up in SUNY Upstate in Syracuse, New York, which is a really interesting program because it’s one of the few otolaryngology fellowships that I specializes in cranial facial surgery. So, we, the man who started the fellowship, Scott Tatum, kind of 20 years ago, 25 years ago, moved into basically a vacuum.

So, there’s no oral surgery residency, there’s no plastic surgery residency. So, he does everything. Like we did cranial synostosis, tons of cleft lip and palate, distractions, orthognathic surgery, genioplasty, frontal orbital advancements. I mean, these crazy bone surgeries. Which I liked. I was interested.

I also did a lot of microvascular surgery. When I was done training, I thought, I’ll go into academics. That’s what you do with this kind of training. And there were just no jobs. And that’s a reality in facial plastics. A lot of times there’s like one job maybe for all 65 applicants. So, it just wasn’t an option for me at that year.

 So, I started in private practice with a group the head of which was a craniofacial plastic surgeon. So, we got to do some interesting cases and then eventually I left that group and decided to start my own practice. And so, what I’ve done in my own practice, which like I said, is not really kind of what I thought I’d be doing, but I had so much training in jaw and chin and I felt like I could do, you know, these really dramatic jaw, double jaw surgeries in private practice, I had learned about V line surgery.

Which is really popular in South Korea for the angle of the mandible is removed. And the point is to make the jaw a little bit more V shaped, popular with people who have kind of a square jawline. So, I kind of started marketing that, I put some of that out there on social media, did a few of those patients.

 And then one day a transgender woman emailed me and said, Oh, what will you work with? Transgender patients and I’m sure absolutely. So, I did her chin and jaw and a few other things and She was happy and then she told her friends who told her friend who told her friend and now that’s really the bulk of what I do is those kind of Feminizing surgeries, although now, I do I still see a lot of transgender, non-binary patients, but there’s also a lot of cisgender women who just think their brow bone is heavy, or want a narrower lower face, want their hairline lowered so it’s kind of a fun niche practice that I have.

Catherine Maley, MBA: And how did you end up in Houston? Because it is one competitive area, isn’t it? How does this relate to or impact your transgender niche practice?

Regina E. Rodman, MD: Yeah, although the kind of, the interesting thing about doing something that not many people do is, there’s still competition, but Not so much directly in my neighborhood. There is another woman who also does, has a similar practice in Austin, and we’re friends and there’s a few other people, but the good thing about doing these sort of difficult unusual surgeries is there’s not as much competition, but the way I ended up is I did my residency here, and, You know, people don’t have to stay where they did their residency, but you meet a lot of people in the community.

You meet people. I was plugged in. I was married at the time and my ex-husband worked here. So, it just seemed pretty natural that I was going to come back to Houston. As an aside I matched here and as everyone knows, you match where you match. And I remember being like, really? Like Texas? Really? I was living in Chicago at the time.

 And I thought I was, I was, you know, I was happy to have a position and happy I got a spot, but I had a lot of anxiety about moving to Texas. And, Houston’s great. It’s great. Well, right now we’re like the surface of the sun, but in general, it’s just, it’s a great place to live. It’s not necessarily like a tourist destination, but it’s nice to, it’s affordable.

You can drive, you can park, and yet we still have all the benefits of, theater, opera, ballet, sports teams, you know, all the benefits of a major city. So, so it just made a lot of sense for me to just stay here. Yeah.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Where are you originally from? Because you’re not, you’re not from Chicago. I can hear that. How does this relate to or impact your transgender niche practice?

Regina E. Rodman, MD: My parents are not in the military, although people think that my dad’s actually a college professor. So, we moved for a master’s degree, then doctorate, then postdoc, job. I kind of grew up all over. So, like I, Georgia, North Carolina, Indiana, went to high school in Minnesota, and then moved to Chicago to do a post baccalaureate program because I didn’t originally go into medicine out of my undergrad.

 And then, then matched in otolaryngology, and that’s what brought me to Texas.

Catherine Maley, MBA: I gotcha. It’s always a jagged road, you know? How does this relate to or impact your transgender niche practice?

Regina E. Rodman, MD: It is so jagged. So, yeah, I mean, from, from the start, I think on some level, I always knew I wanted to be a doctor, but. Going through undergrad, I went to a liberal arts school, and there was just so many things to learn, and I wanted to study abroad, and I knew I wanted to be a doctor, but I just felt like, not right now, and so I took all the music classes, like I said, I took a lot of art classes, I majored in anthropology, I actually worked as a social worker for a couple of years, and then, It just kind of kept coming up.

Like I would take my clients to the, to the doctor, their doctor’s appointment and the doctors would, Oh, have you ever thought about medicine? And people just mentioned that. And finally, after a couple of years, I was like, okay, okay, I’m going to go back. I’m going to do it. And so, I wanted to go back and take all the.

science classes and stuff. But for me, that was the best path because I had tried a lot of stuff. And so, then once I got into med school, I mean, this was hard. And I felt like I’ve worked in an office. I’ve worked at this. I’ve worked at this. I don’t want any of those jobs. So, when med school was really hard, it was helpful to think, yeah, but you’ve tried the other things.

You’ve, you’ve done all the things and this is, this is who you are. This is who you’re supposed to be. And then just keep plugging.

Catherine Maley, MBA: And you’re happy with your decision? How does this relate to or impact your transgender niche practice?

Regina E. Rodman, MD: Most days. Okay. Yeah. I mean, like, you know, like any job, there’s frustrations, there’s problems, but I mean, I think about this when some days I’m frustrated and I think like, Oh, I’m going to do something else with my life.

And then, but there is nothing, there is just nothing I love more than operating. Nothing, not even anything to do in my spare time. Like I love it. It is my happy place. And that it’s like my superpower. I do these. Some of these facial feminization cases are 10 12 hours, it’s just, I can do that, I’m not tired, I am not hungry, I’m just in a flow state and it’s just, my brain is quiet and everything just happens and I just, I can’t imagine working at Alpert’s Law.

There’s nothing else I think that I would. Or I would get that.

Catherine Maley, MBA: That’s great. And the rule is it’s 50 50. So, if you’re happy with what you’re doing 50 percent of the time, you’re, you’re okay. You know? Yeah. Anyway, back to that the facial feminization surgeries, I, sorry for my ignorance, are they covered under insurance? How does this relate to or impact your transgender niche practice?

Regina E. Rodman, MD: Yeah, I would love to talk about that because not many people really, I mean, they kind of know or they’ve heard, but not many people are really familiar with it. So, facial feminization, when I started it was not. Covered much at all more and more I think insurance companies are recognizing that these are really important surgeries for these patients.

And, necessary. And so, more and more insurance are starting to cover it. There’s a couple of companies that cover it across the board. And so, I have a lot of patients who will go get jobs, like Starbucks is one, Amazon is one, although go start working there so that they can get the insurance that covers it.

 So, it is definitely becoming more widespread and I think talked about and known a little bit more. Even, even in the last five years, it’s, it’s exponent or it’s, it’s increased quite a bit.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Just covering the OR alone though, how, how, who’s paying for this? If that’s a 12-hour procedure, that’s amazing. How does this relate to or impact your transgender niche practice?

Regina E. Rodman, MD: So, yeah, so insurance or patients pay out of pocket. And it’s a lot of money. And so. I mean, so many people ask me like, well, how do you know, they’re sure? What if they change their mind? And I mean, to save that kind of money and fly across the country and, you know, undergo, it’s a lot of surgery. It’s a lot of recovery.

Like, these patients have fought it through. They, they feel like they need this to, so that their outside matches their inside. And just to kind of be who they are and to live in the world. So, it’s, it’s a really important thing. And so, a lot of patients, if they can, will work sometimes for years to save up to have a procedure like this.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Just out of curiosity, how much of your practice is just straight everyday cosmetic, facial cosmetic versus the insurance side or the feminization side? Probably at this point, the like transgender patients are probably 40, 45%. And then, The rest is similar procedures, but on cisgender patients. What’s a cisgender? How does this relate to or impact your transgender niche practice?

Regina E. Rodman, MD: Yeah, great question. So, cis means same. So, cisgender people are people who identify their gender identity the same as that they were born. So, I was born biologically female. I identify as a female. I’m cisgender. Transgender patients are patients trans means opposite. So, they are born. A given sex, their gender identity, meaning they identify is different from the sex they were born.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Gotcha. Okay.

Regina E. Rodman, MD: There are some what we just call women, which by that we mean cisgender women, like I was saying that maybe want their hairline lowered or want some of the similar procedures to just look softer, feminine.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Gotcha. And then how important is the non-surgical side of your practice, or are you just doing these big cases? How does this relate to or impact your transgender niche practice?

Regina E. Rodman, MD: It is not important. I would say it’s probably 10 percent of my practice. I don’t, I spent a whole year trying to build a med spa and trying to build up those services. And I know it. I mean, I see the successful med spas. It just didn’t fit me. It just didn’t fit me in my practice. And so, I really try to incentivize my surgical patients to come back to me for their injections, for their skincare, for, you know, anything, I would much prefer my patients not go to a separate med spa, so I try to give them some discounts and special treatments and stuff But I don’t really have a big med spa side of the practice, which, like I said, I, I spent probably a year and a half really focusing on building that.

And then finally I was like, you know what, I’m, I’m good at this thing. I have a great practice here. Let’s just focus on the thing that I like and that’s, that’s working. So, for now, that’s where I am.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Honestly, from a marketing consultant perspective, I think you have such a good niche going there and you’re going throughout the whole nation or probably the world on this particular. How does this relate to or impact your transgender niche practice?

So, you’re going deep into a procedure that’s fairly new. The other doctors aren’t doing it. It’s really specific. I mean, if you can live off of that and you enjoy it, what the heck, you know, go for it. How does this relate to or impact your transgender niche practice?

Regina E. Rodman, MD: Yeah, and I think that was some of why the meds wouldn’t take off as I would say at least half of my patients come from out of town, out of state, even out of the country sometimes.

So, they’re not coming back there. They don’t all come back for their right or Botox injections, whatever. The people in town, I mean, we have a good core people that, that have a procedure with me and then follow up that live locally. And even Houston. Patients from San Antonio, Dallas, Austin will drive back to have their PRP or, you know, whatever they need as an adjunct to their surgery.

But it’s primarily my surgical patients that are getting Med Spa type services.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Gotcha. So, regarding the business side of your practice, what’s the biggest challenge? How does this relate to or impact your transgender niche practice?

Regina E. Rodman, MD: Ooh, I want to say all of it, but, but really specifically now, I think human resources and staff management. Right now, the second I have an amazing team, I have really great people.

 But, I mean, I think about this sometimes, like, I did this very academic fellowship where, you know, I’m rebuilding infant baby skulls, I can harvest your leg bone and rebuild your face, and we can do these crazy things, and then we get out, and, like, here, run a business, you know, and some fellowships I know get, like, have a little bit of training in that, mine did not, so it was a very steep learning curve, all of it, like, I had to be the, you Interior decorator, and the HR, and the IT person, and just, and all those things are things, especially like human resources and management I mean, there’s master’s degrees in those.

There’s a ton of stuff to know. So, it’s been a steep learning curve. That’s still the thing that I think is ever evolving, and I’m always trying to do a little better. And I will just say, thank you for your podcast, because, I, all the things I learned was from podcasts. I read a few books, but there’s a few books that are varied enough.

So, the Ear podcast was one. There’re a few others that we, I made all my staff listen to Ear podcast too, which was really helpful, especially for my Paging Care Coordinator. Because we’re kind of learning this on the fly, a lot of us. So, the, I feel like the IT stuff, now we’ve hired somebody, the decorator, we’ve hired somebody, the human resources, I have help.

But. So, ultimately, managing a team and kind of having the team flow and, and then and, and creating the clinic environment that I want is a constant upkeep and constant evolving.

Catherine Maley, MBA: And the bad news is it’s always going to be because humans are involved and, and they’re involved and evolving. And so are you and it’s just a real dynamic situation where people are coming and going. How does this relate to or impact your transgender niche practice?

 Wow. So, there’s nothing easy about that.

Regina E. Rodman, MD: So, right now, the second I love my team, I feel like I’m like, man, I’ve gotten so much better at hiring. They have, some of them have bigger goals. They want to go back to school as they should. So, it’s not going to be perfect forever. So, I’m always trying to. You know, get more insights or hear what other people do.

 Because that’s really what’s been helpful is hearing other people’s experience.

Catherine Maley, MBA: And enjoy it when it’s stable like this because it doesn’t always stay that way and you just have to keep adapting. It’s okay, you know. Tell me about Dubai. I’ve never been to Dubai. I’ve been to Saudi Arabia and that was fascinating.

My goal is to get to Dubai. Are you going there very often or where is that fitting into your world? How does this relate to or impact your transgender niche practice?

Regina E. Rodman, MD: Yeah, so I’m going back in November. You can come if you want. So, basically, I went there for vacation. I just wanted to see it. And I just fell in love with it. It’s such an interesting city.

There’s just so much development, so much technology. It’s just, there’s so many interesting things about it. And I knew that a lot of the Middle East had had a need for female plastic surgeons. So, a lot of the women who live in the area. They’re Muslim, they wear burqa, the hijab, cover their face, they’re allowed, for medical care, they can take it off but for plastic surgery, it’s, first of all, it’s kind of a gray area, and then when they do take it off a lot of times the husband needs to be present, of course, this is a broad generalization, there’s different sex and different types of religion that, that have variations.

I acknowledge, but in general, husband has to be there unless it’s a female doctor, in which case, woman to woman, it’s, it’s you know, free for all. So, there, I knew there was a need for Western trained women to come especially in plastic surgery. So, honestly, I created this opportunity for myself. I was like, I want to work here.

While I was there, I started cold calling a couple of places, I got in touch with a few people, came back, I found some leads and pursued a few things, then COVID happened and that kind of went by the wayside, but then one time I was just, I had a patient who had a very, a really difficult, a really difficult case.

It was like a revision, revision, revision. He was happy with his results. We were just chatting one day about Middle East. And I was saying, I told him how, Oh, I had been trying to pursue this opportunity. Once things open up again, you know, maybe I’ll try again. And my patient said, Oh, well, you know, my brother runs the biggest healthcare company in Dubai, don’t you?

And I was like, I do not tell me more. So, he, the next time his brother came to town, we all met and we got along. So, they flew me out there to see if it was a fit and kind of the same there. Like the, the things that I do, especially the bony surgeries, there’s just no one at all, like in that whole region doing that.

So, and it hired by a hospital. So, right now what I’m doing is quarterly. I’m trying to go spend a week to seven to 10 days. Just do all the surgery I can. And then follow up with the patients before and after with video chat.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Oh, so are you doing, what kind of surgery are you doing? Craniofacial surgery? Feminization surgery? How does this relate to or impact your transgender niche practice?

Regina E. Rodman, MD: So, facial feminization, as I do it here, is not legal there.

Catherine Maley, MBA: I was thinking, I can’t imagine them being that open. How does this relate to or impact your transgender niche practice?

Regina E. Rodman, MD: Dubai is surprisingly liberal. I’d say it’s probably, you know, the most Westernized city in the Middle East. So, the hospital stance on it as of now is that they do cosmetic surgery, and there’s no insurance coverage there, so they do cosmetic surgery if a patient wants a hairline advancement, that’s probably the most popular thing there is just to have the hairline lowered for all women and their stance is just if a patient wants a cosmetic surgery, we provide cosmetic surgery, We’re not going to ask a lot of questions.

People can have whatever they want. So, so I haven’t done one of these big, like, full face transformations. But, but rhinoplasty, genioplasty, hairline, the hairline lowering is something I do a lot of here and there. And it’s, it’s still relatively new, so I’m still trying to grow that part of my practice.

Catherine Maley, MBA: I think that can be a really lucrative profit center for you too yeah? How does this relate to or impact your transgender niche practice?

Regina E. Rodman, MD: Hopefully. I went into it with the idea that as long as I don’t lose money, it’s worth it. Cause it’s just, it’s just something different. I think we go through training, like, okay, undergrad, we got to, got to get into med school, we got to get a good residency, got to get a fellowship, we got to get a good job, start my own practice, go to this, and now I’m kind of at this place where, I have a nice practice.

I have a good life and a little part of me is like, this is it for 20 more years. Like you’re just going to be in the same office. So, it just adds just a new dimension, a new perspective. It’s interesting to just learn how different patients see things, what different patients want. Sort of the aesthetic is different in the Middle East.

So, I’m learning to listen to that. It’s just fun. Just something to spice it up. And if I end up. Okay. Making a lot of money. Great. And if not, it’s just fun to be, you know, have some variety.

Catherine Maley, MBA: I completely agree. I often think about that half the time. I think surgeons buy lasers because they’re bored.

They’re just absolutely bored of their business and they’re like, well, I don’t know what, I don’t know what to do. So, I think that’s a great idea. Quarterly get the heck out and go do something else. How does this relate to or impact your transgender niche practice?

Regina E. Rodman, MD: And that’s a great idea. Yeah, and I, I mean, I don’t have kids. I never wanted kids, so I’m free to travel.

I’m free to go away for a week. And it’s like a good time. You know, I’m, I’m young enough that it’s not, the jet lag is real, but. As I’m young enough that I can adapt to it 24 years I probably won’t want to be doing this, but for right now it’s just really fun.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Now, where does India fit into this? How does this relate to or impact your transgender niche practice?

I know you’ve been doing some mission work, tell us about that.

Regina E. Rodman, MD: Yeah. That all started and happened before, long before the Dubai the Dubai project. So, it is, I do it through a mission called the India Project, and I’ve done several other missions before I went to Guatemala, been to South America, a few other things, but the India project, I’ve been back a few times signed up for it.

I just, again, it’s, I was just, I think, at least me, and I think a lot of other surgeons are like this. I mean, we just need to have to do, we just need to be doing something all the time. And I don’t want to violate it. So, it’s, it’s, again, it’s just a nice thing. And it’s just a nice way to feel like you’re giving back.

 And. We’re giving back, but then, you know, it’s kind of cliche, but I also learn so much every time I go abroad and work in, like, a totally different environment with a totally different situation. So, the India project is the one who organizes the whole trip, but the people who have gone on it the last few years, and I haven’t been actually since COVID, but the first few years that we did it, they were all, we’re all graduates of my same fellowship.

Yep. So, we’re, we’re kind of buddies. We have the same training, but we have vastly different practices. So, we’re a great team because we all know how to do pallets. I mean, we all trained in that forever. We know how to do micro show. We know how to do. A lot of these congenital defects, that’s really the bulk of our fellowship.

But one person also did a microvascular cancer fellowship, one is in a smaller town and so he does oculoplastics, trauma, everything at an academic center, I’m in private practice doing a little more cosmetic. So, we all really have, we have the same foundation, but then we have different specialized skills.

And so, it’s really great for me just academically because a lot of times I’ll have something that I’m, I ask for. It’s just, you know, one of the other doctors is like, Oh, how would you repair this? And they have something I’ve never heard of, but then I also have skills that they don’t practice all the time.

I mean, I do tons, like, for example, I do tons of fat grafting for cosmetic reasons, but it also works great in cleft lips that are thin or, you know birth defects where some of the skin is thinned out. And so, I’m like, Oh, let me show you how I do this. So, it’s been really great. And I’m hoping that we kind of, now that everything is stabilized, we get to go again this coming year.

Catherine Maley, MBA: For sure. Let’s switch gears and talk about marketing. Here’s the thing about what you’re trying to do is go wide, you know, with a few procedures. But Google doesn’t like that. They don’t want you to do that. They want you to stay local. How are you handling that? How does this relate to or impact your transgender niche practice?

Regina E. Rodman, MD: Yeah, so again, this is a lot of trial and error.

 Nobody has a, here’s a niche practice. Handbook. So, I have learned that Google ads just don’t work for me. I’ve tried several, tried three different companies. One that is really known for being great and has all the latest and greatest. And it just doesn’t work for me because they really, exactly, they want to target an area.

And there’s people in Houston that want to do neoplasty, but Not that many. And so really what I found is our, our best leads come from social media, come from our website, like the website SEO. People know what procedure they need and they will hop on Google or they’ll hop on you know, we get a lot of patients actually from social media.

They’ll hop on Instagram and search. Chin reduction and they don’t necessarily know it’s called a genioplasty But they know they want their chin smaller or small chin surgery something like that So, we have really made an effort to put hashtags on all of our social media posts so that our page comes up when patients Are looking for that and I would say Least half of my patients more probably 60 or 70 percent of my out-of-town patients.

We actually get from social media

Catherine Maley, MBA: You know, if just in case you wanted my two cents, you’re doing a ton of videos on Instagram. I would be so specific. I would have like a jaw the way the patient would say it. They wouldn’t say that medical term. They would say like chin, chin. Shaping or chin augmentation or something like that.

And if you just did those short, even the Instagram reels, what is a chin A or what is, you know? I think I can go far. Because I think social media is your best bet. Like you’re doing to go for a big, much broader reach. Yeah. How does this relate to or impact your transgender niche practice?

Regina E. Rodman, MD: So, the last year. We put a ton of money into Google ads and it just, it just didn’t return what it was supposed to.

Then I made some efforts to really rehaul my website and I’m happy with that. I think that my new company did a great job fleshing out some of the content, explaining stuff a little bit better because just like you said, like I know what this is. And when I write the content, I write something. There’s is a little more probably.

Layperson friendly. So, that has been really helpful. And then I decided just to try to focus a lot more on social media. Just to do little. Educational videos. That is a very hard position to hire for, so I’m going to help with that. So, I finally now have somebody who’s good, and we’ve, we’re starting to get a really good flow and so I’m hoping that we continue to do more things like that.

Catherine Maley, MBA: So, would you suggest others that are entering this marketplace, or they’re just trying to find their way in this marketplace because it got so crowded would you suggest they also niche it like you did, or do they stay broad and just Be, “oh, I’m everything. I do all of it. I do rhino. I do body. I do face”.

 Or something like what you’re doing because honestly in today’s world to stand out You’ve got to pick a procedure. How does this relate to or impact your transgender niche practice?

Regina E. Rodman, MD: Externally, yes. That’s what I think and I know there’s plenty of people who are like, “oh I’m good at everything I do everything”. I’ve done everything for years and I maybe I don’t know.

 I just know for myself like the two procedures I do a lot of is hairline advancement and lip lifts I still learn every single case. And so, I mean, like I did two lip lifts today and still every case, I’m like, Oh, just some little tweak that I changed something that I think like, Oh, that’s actually going to heal better.

So, I’m doing that multiple times a week and every time getting a little better and a little better and evolving my technique, I, I can do other, I mean, I can do a lot of things, but am I putting that much focus and that much evolution, that much thought into every single procedure? Like, there’s just no way.

So, I mean, I’ve done like over a hundred facial feminization cases, and I do think like everyone gets a little bit better. So, I think. One, for marketing, it’s helpful to just kind of focus on a niche, but also, I just think the more you do something, the better you get at it, which then kind of markets itself because like if I, the hairline advancements that barely have a scar, I mean like hairdresser has to look carefully, that’s great marketing because she might tell somebody, you know, that hairdresser might then.

Tell another client. Oh, actually, maybe you’ve never heard of this procedure, but there’s someone in town who does it. And I think those patients are happy and then they tell people who tell those people, I’ve certainly had a few patients that are on like there is my chin is too big forum on reddit like who knew One of my patients had surgery with me.

She’s on this chin forum posted her pictures I probably got seven new patients from that. So, you know, so I feel I think having some kind of focus It’s just technically better. It’s Easier to market and so it’s just less stressful. So, I just kind of have a routine where even in the operating room, like, everyone knows this is the instruments.

I want this is we do it. Step 1, 2, 3 so it. It helps take some of that extra mental load off of us too.

Catherine Maley, MBA: It also opens the door to premium pricing because nobody wants to be the guinea pig. And if you have such a specialized, especially this facial feminization that’s, well, that’s a tough decision to make, you know, you’re, they’re going to transform their face, their life, all of that. How does this relate to or impact your transgender niche practice?

They don’t want to be number one. They want to be number 101.

Regina E. Rodman, MD: No, I think about that. Sometimes I have these moments where I just kind of step back from my life and I’m like, It’s crazy, most of these patients, I meet them online we do an online consult, they think about it, make their decision, and of course they’re looking at my photos and probably follow me on social media, so they’re kind of getting to know me in the background as well, but we meet one time online and then they will travel, fly here to me, we meet the, I usually, for out of town patients, I’ll do my post op the day before so they come in the clinic, and we can go through the plan, et cetera, you know, all the, the pre op stuff.

I just think, wow, so this person spent an hour with me online and then flew across the country on faith, and I’m going to cut their entire face open. And they’re just going to hope it all works out. And, and it does, it does. But sometimes I just step back from that and I’m like, man, that’s, that’s kind of crazy that people just trust me like that.

And, and also really awesome that like people trust me like that. It’s a huge honor and responsibility to be in charge of all of this.

Catherine Maley, MBA: But that’s what branding and marketing does it builds up that trust before they even meet you And they’re I mean think about it. They’re able to trust you and they haven’t even met you That’s the power of Instagram and also branding on the website. How does this relate to or impact your transgender niche practice?

It all goes together we’re going to wrap it up now, but tell us something. We don’t know about you.

Regina E. Rodman, MD: Some people know but my second job passion second passion I would say is super into fitness. I used to compete in CrossFit. Now I just do a little a little too busy, but still do a lot of fitness stuff out of my garage.

 And now I, I do some functional bodybuilding. I do a little bit of pole dancing just for flexibility and mobility. Super fun. It’s like a great core workout. Do some weightlifting, still do running. So, I always, I always have something going on after work.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Yeah, your Instagram, you look like you’re quite the power lifter, like you are buffed, yeah. How does this relate to or impact your transgender niche practice?

Regina E. Rodman, MD: Thanks.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Yeah, good for you, yeah. Alright if anybody wanted to get a hold of you how would they do so?

Regina E. Rodman, MD: You can always, on the Instagram, send a direct message. We check those multiple times a day. The second-best way, or the other good way, is through my website, which is… FaceForwardHouston.com or DrReginaRodman.com.

There’s contact us button that also gets monitored multiple times a day, even on the weekends.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Oh, that’s fantastic. Thank you so much Dr. Rodman. It’s so nice to get to know you better and I’m sure I’ll see you at a conference again soon.

Everybody that’s going to wrap it up for us today, a Beauty and the Biz and this episode on Dr. Rodman’s transgender niche practice.

If you’ve got any questions or feedback for Dr. Rodman you can reach out to her website at, FaceForwardHouston.com.

A big thanks to Dr. Rodman for sharing her journey on developing her transgender niche practice.

And if you have any questions or feedback for me, you can go ahead and leave them at my website at www.CatherineMaley.com, or you can certainly DM me on Instagram @CatherineMaleyMBA.

If you’ve enjoyed this episode on Beauty and the Biz, please head over to Apple Podcasts and give me a review and subscribe to Beauty and the Biz so, you don’t miss any episodes. And of course, please share this with your staff and colleagues.

And we will talk to you again soon. Take care.

The fastest way to success is to model other successful surgeons who have what you want, but you can only see their results, not the path they took to get there.

So, you continue to jump from one thing to another, hoping to find something that will work for you too, but it rarely does. So, try this shortcut instead. It’s guaranteed to move you forward. I compiled my intellectual property to grow cosmetic revenues, everything I’ve gleaned over the years into one playbook of the most successful practices and what they do to win.

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-End transcript for “Transgender Niche — with Regina E. Rodman, MD”.

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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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