I would rather be Dr. 37919, than Dr. 90210
As I talk with patients it’s always interesting to find out where they are getting their information and insight into plastic surgery. There’s a lot of stuff out there on TV, on the Internet, and pretty much everywhere you look and it seems that many people watch Dr. 90210.
As you might expect, I have watched an episode or two (just like I watched an episode of Bridalplasty), just to know what is out there. But, I always cringe as I watch this, uh, “stuff” and I have to ask myself: “Is this what people really think plastic surgery is? Do people really think that this is what plastic surgeons are like?” I hope not.
So let’s get it on the record: I would rather be Dr. 37919, than Dr. 90210.
Let’s start with the location. It might be fun to visit Beverly Hills, but I would much rather live in East Tennessee. I don’t really expect much argument on this point.
And when most people think about this show, they are thinking about Dr. Rey. Now, it may surprise you, but he is not a Board-certified plastic surgeon. He may have had plastic surgery training, but he has never passed the Board examination and thus he is not a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. That means that his conduct and ethics are accountable only to himself. I know that this is something that I keep harping on, but this is important. Especially when it comes to patient safety. I should note that Dr. Rey does have his Screen Actors Guild (SAG) card, so he has that going for him.
Who Do You Want You Doctor Paying Attention To Most?
There is a wise book that says that you can not be accountable to two masters, and I believe this to be true. If I am taking care of a patient, or operating on a patient, that patient is my focus, my master so to speak. If I am doing this in front of a camera and — for all intents and purposes — performing for that camera, I now have two masters to serve. And one will suffer. This can never happen. So, I’ll just keep this real simple, and leave the cameras for someone else, while I take care of my patients.
Drama: Good TV. Bad Plastic Surgery.
If you are going to be on the air for shows like these, there always has to be some hype, or some drama, to make it interesting for the viewing audience. But, most of my patients don’t want hype or drama, and neither do I. I think what we are looking for is something that makes sense to us, something that will give us what we want, without a lot of peripheral non-sense. The only way I can do this is to establish a personal relationship with a patient to understand what they want or need, and to let them know how this can be achieved. This makes for great medicine, but is really great TV drama.
Now, I’m not really going to talk about wearing black scrubs with cut off sleeves, or driving a Maserati, or walking around with a stethoscope around my neck like I’m starring on ER, or flirting with every TV celebrity I can get on the air with, or even whether it makes sense to do a strong martial arts work out before you operate so that your muscles will be fatigued. Really, I’m not going to go there (oops, just did).
Let’s just say that having a great practice in Knoxville, with the wonderful patients that I have, and working with my fantastic staff, works just fine for me.
All the best,