Is the Chemistry Between Doctor and Patient of Critical Importance?

I'm choosing a surgeon--I have seen many pictures, curriculum vitaes, etc. Though I wonder, wether the intangible chemistry between doctor and patient isn't maybe also of critical importance to any successful procedure, because effective comunication and trust are essential between doctor and patient. We see evermore often patients who don't trust their doctors and vice versa! Should a patient trust his or her gut feeling?

Doctor Answers 12

Chemistry is Essential

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I agree with others who have already posted: chemistry between patient and surgeon is critical. This is most pertinent in circumstances when a patient is considering a surgical approach for a cosmetic issue. In order to have a good experience, a smooth recovery, and a sense of satisfaction for having had the procedure(s), a patient needs to have a positive outlook. Trust between the patient and the surgeon is a necessary step in reaching this sense of optimism.

In situations where individuals are seeking revision surgery, the most common statement I hear made about a previous surgeon is, "I just didn't get a good feeling about Dr. .............. , but I decided to go ahead because the price was so good." The lesson to be take from this is that a patient should follow their instincts. Reputation, Results, and Rapport are the three key elements a patient should consider, with price a distant fourth.

Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

Patient-Doctor Rapport for Plastic Surgery

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The relationship between the physician and the patient is one of the most important factors in cosmetic surgery, if not the most important factor. Regardless of a surgeon's credentials or past results, the patient must feel comfortable with the plastic surgeon, who must also feel comfortable with the patient.

Plastic surgery is more about managing patient expectations rather than obtaining exact results. The happiest patients are not always the ones with the "best" results. You should feel comfortable with your plastic surgeon. Speak with a few plastic surgeons to help determine which one is the most appropriate for you. Best of luck.

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Doctor Patient Relationship

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Yes, your relationship with your surgeon is very important. The skill of the surgeon is very important. However, it is also very important that you find a surgeon you takes the time to listen to you and understand your expectations for surgery and also takes the time to help you understand everything that is involved with surgery. Good luck.

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Doctor patient relationship

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You should most definitely have a good rapport and relationship with your surgeon before proceeding with any surgical or non-surgical procedure. You need to feel comfortable with him/her and must genuinely like the doctor and trust the doctor. You need to know your surgeon will be available for you in the event you are displeased or have a surgical complication.

If you feel you don't have a connection with a plastic surgeon, I recommend consulting with a few until you find one who is not only board certified, but also one who listens to your desires and concerns.

Best wishes,

Dr. Bruno

William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 412 reviews


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I think that the doctor patient relationship is vital to a happy and successful experience for many reasons.

Without good communication and trust, you may not have realistic expectations, and so, you may have a great outcome, and never be happy with it! Also, if you have a rough patch, you won't get the support that you need.

It is ONE component. You should also look at the doctor's qualifications (board certified, American Board of Plastic Surgery, etc.), and his pre and post ops, and talk with patients. You should be able to get the best of all worlds for your needs as there are many doctors to choose from.


Good doctor patient relationship

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Excellent question and it certainly is one of the more important factors to review when making your final choice of surgeon. However, there are many issues which must be considered in their entirety. There is no one criteria that can be applied in all circumstances. Having a good relationship with an open line of communication and mutual trust and respect is essential.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Is the chemistry between doctor and patient of critical importance?

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Hello! Thank you for your question. I do believe that it is of utmost importance to trust and have confidence in your chosen surgeon.  Having a good rapport and able to communicate your wishes will be necessary.  Cost will vary among plastic surgeons as well as with geographic location and what procedures exactly they will be providing to you. Certainly, researching a board certified plastic surgeon well-versed in the procedure(s) you desire is recommended - checking the American Board of Plastic Surgery is a great start. Consult with two or more surgeons who you are happy with their postoperative photographs and those who you, most importantly, feel comfortable and confident with. Use the opportunity to ask questions as well as visit with staff and investigate the accredited facilities they work out of. I believe fellowship-training, beyond the core plastic surgery residency to be important, as that surgeon has gone above and beyond to seek additional training specific to that area of interest and chosen to gain additional expertise in that area.

Experience should not be measured solely by the age of the surgeon or how many years s/he has been in practice. Checking the education and training is more valuable - a Board Certified MD plastic surgeon who was accepted to and completed an integrated plastic surgery residency, in today's day and age, are excellent choices. Those are the top students who have superior training at top institutes. Plastic Surgery is NOT a is a residency. Those surgeons who have actually successfully completed additional fellowship training beyond the plastic surgery residency are also passionate about that area and will likely have the most recent, innovative, and up to date techniques. These are usually the younger surgeons, who are still readily willing and competent to continue to strive for the newest material and remain up to date on literature and conferences. It takes nearly 2 years for a plastic surgeon to obtain board certification as there is a series of written exam, case collection, and finally oral exam, which takes approximately this time period to succesffully complete all steps.

You must decide for yourself who you are most comfortable with and confident with who will meet your goals and expectations. Cost may differ just on expertise and the aforementioned additional training ad what that additional expertise training has afforded to his/her patients. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Choosing a Surgeon- is good chemistry important?

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Hi there-

This question comes up often- here is an answer I gave to a patient interested in finding a good tummy tuck surgeon- If you follow this advice, you should be able to be confident you will be well taken care of...

This really is a universal question. Let's first understand that what you are really asking is, "how do I maximize my chances of getting the outcome I want, with safety, in a comfortable and pleasant experience?".

It is important to understand that while your chosen surgeon is probably the most important factor in achieving the above, there are other important considerations as well. Here are my thoughts about how best to go about this...

Find a surgeon you really like FIRST. Too many patients search for a price they like, or for a surgeon who is willing to do a certain procedure on them (whether it is really in their best interests or not). First and foremost, you should be looking for a quality education, top-notch training in plastic surgery, with board certification BY THE AMERICAN BOARD OF PLASTIC SURGERY (there are many "boards", but only certification by The American Board of Plastic Surgery ensures you that the surgeon has undergone the years of plastic surgery specific training and examination you want). Provided the surgeon has these qualifications, it is important that you like them and feel you can get along well with them- you are, after all, entering into an important relationship. If these two criteria are satisfied, it's time to evaluate his/her work and expertise... ask to see examples of his/her work, and maybe even to talk to some former patients. They will be best able to tell you what it was like to be cared for by this surgeon. Whatever you do, remember that quality professional treatment (whether by a plastic surgeon, an architect, or any other professional) will carry a price appropriate for the surgeon's level of training and expertise. Shopping for a low price will usually lead to the difficult re-learning of the lesson that "you will get what you paid for".

Once you have found a surgeon you like, it is important to know about THE FACILITY, and who will be providing your ANESTHESIA. Having a great surgeon won't matter if the facility is less than safe, or if your anesthesia provider is under-qualified or suspect. Most good surgeons make sure the facilities and anesthesia providers they use are reputable, but this is not always the case, particularly as surgeons have scrambled (like everyone else) to save money in these more difficult times. It is very important that the facility is certified by either the JCAHO or AAAASF. These regulatory bodies inspect facilities for safety and cleanliness, as well as verifying the training of the personnel involved in your care.

Your anesthesia provider can be a qualified nurse anesthetist, or an anesthesiologist (a doctor of anesthesia). My personal opinion is that the additional cost of having an anesthesiologist present and managing your care is more than worth it.

I hope this helps you!

Feeling comfortable with your doctor

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Cosmetic surgery is an elective procedure. I think it is very important to feel comfortable with your doctor. If you already have a red flag then proceed no further, perhaps you should look elsewhere.

Sharon Theresa McLaughlin MD
Long Island City Plastic Surgeon

Plastic Surgeon Selection

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That is the most important of all.  You need to be sure and confident in your plastic surgeon for the procedure you will be undergoing.  Trust is very important.  This is the exact reason why we all say dont go for just the price, because more often than not you will be dissappointed.

Good luck.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.