How do I choose the right doctor? It's daunting.

I have 3 options: a 3 hr drive to a big city, 1 hour to a town with 3 options. Or 1 spa 10 minutes away. Are big city prices inflated? Are the skills of big city Drs any better? All websites and reviews seem equal. Looking to correct acne scars, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, as well as lipo or coolscupt.

Doctor Answers 2

Acne Scarring -- Requires a Combination of Fractional Laser Resurfacing, Fillers Like Bellafill, Subcision and Eclipse Micropen

I suggest consulting with several board certified cosmetic dermatologists or plastic surgeons to evaluate your options. These procedures should be provided by someone with a lot of experience and expertise. Best, Dr. Emer

Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Deciding on a doctor is the most important decision you make for aesthetic procedures.

This is the most important decision when planning on getting aesthetic procedures. A list of things you should check:
  1. Board Certification - Should be one of the boards recognized by the ABMS and in the Specialty of Dermatology, Otolaryngology/Facial Plastics, Plastic Surgery, or Ophthalmology. Anything that says Cosmetic in its certification is not recognized by the ABMS and qualifications are much less stringent.
  2. Check out the schools and training programs the Doctor went to.
  3. You can check out the physician profile on their license and see if there were/are any sanctions and/or prior malpractice claims.
  4. Check out reviews - keeping in mind that pleasing everyone is impossible.
  5. Ask your friends what they have heard and who they go to.
  6. DON'T BASE YOUR DECISION ON PRICE - You most often will be disappointed. Discounted services are often the only way less experienced doctors can compete with the more well known and better physicians.
  7. Is the doctor a lecturer or trainer? Particularly for the procedure you are interested in.
  8. Look at before and after photos, videos, social media post. Become familiar with the practice and see if you are comfortable with their message and their results. Don't fall for the stock/company photos that docs try to pass off as their own.
  9. Does the doctor perform the procedures you are interested in or does a PA or nurse? This may or may not be important for your results. In general, physicians will charge more for their work.
  10. Location is important. Some procedures need routine follow ups and if traffic and parking are difficult, it can become burdensome.
  11. How long has the physician been doing the procedure you are wanting? There is a learning curve to all procedures but sometimes the device/procedure has only be available for a short time. In these cases, waiting might be your best option to see what results can be expected in the long run.
  12. Is the interaction with the office staff efficient and friendly, or do you have to wait on hold or hours for a return phone call? This becomes important particularly if there is a concern or complication regarding a procedure you have just had.
This might be more than you wanted to know but there are many physicians trying to deceive the public on their credentials/training/expertise/results. Follow the steps above and you should get to the correct choice for you.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 26 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.