Driving ‘Realistic Expectations’

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017 at 6:41 am , Category: Plastic Surgery

cwc october17

I had my car washed today. As I waited for my vehicle to be finished, it dawned on me how similar this industry is to ours. Both are extremely “service-driven”.

I was there to have all the ashes rinsed away that covered my automobile following the devastating recent fires. Embers had settled into crevices, and peppered the roof of my SUV, as if to remind me of the devastation much of the world is experiencing of late. I had a deep moment of gratitude for all that I do have in this life, including just being grateful that someone else was washing my car today in the extreme heat.

I happen to be one of the lucky ones whose home remained safe, amongst a blanket of darkness and flames. I watched others at the carwash, who obviously came from the same situation (ashen-covered cars). Yet, I sat bewildered, as they pointed out to the carwash staff that some slight soot and debris still remained on their vehicles. I swear it was almost microscopic as I leaned in to see what they were complaining about. I heard a man point out that he had just paid $20 dollars for a complete wash, and he expected it to be perfect. One gal wasn’t happy that she still had some ashes scattered behind her wipers, and I watched as she expressed dissatisfaction to the busy and hardworking crew.
The phrase “realistic-expectations” crept into my mind. I sat bewildered at the thought of how most people were simply happy to be alive and still have a vehicle …while realizing others cannot be satisfied enough. Hmmm, splitting hairs for perfectionism? Is there really such a thing as “perfect”? I think not, after all, these were used cars – yet their owners expected showroom-quality results.

Interestingly, the term “Realistic Expectations” is a common phrase in our medical industry. One role of a plastic surgeon is to determine whether or not a patient seeks realistic expectations, and if not, advise them of such. That process alone helps to weed out the patient population that should, and should not, seek surgical improvements. Even the world’s best surgeons cannot promise to deliver perfection, but more importantly, I question how a person could even expect that. Plastic surgery is available to improve the face and body, and/or to reconstruct birth defects, yet nowhere does it state any one individual delivers perfection. Our goal (as an industry) is to improve the quality, appearance and physical ailments of patients, and we do just that.

I think the world has changed with respect to what they feel is attainable these days. Because we live in a ‘faster, newer, disposable mindset’, it often misleads people to believe medical perfection does exist. Years ago I witnessed the general patient population as having very realistic expectations and desires. We often over-delivered and undersold, mostly so that the patient could understand that medicine is not an exact science. Rather, it is one person (or a team of medical experts) doing their very best as human beings. (Just as carwash employees are dedicated to improving your vehicles’ body, often in the sweltering heat, polishing and shining metal to a radiant outcome).

Doctors are human, and occasionally a revision may be required. The science of medicine is not a perfect one, but I can assure you that qualified physicians will always seek to achieve the best results for their patients. They listen, they care, and they work feverishly together to help you “shine”, so that you look and feel better, and more confident.
Let’s put things in perspective. Let’s be realistic. Let’s all try to be a grateful nation again. Always make informed decisions, seek out medical professionals that are experts in their fields, and ensure their team is highly educated and dedicated to serving you too.

The next time you seek a cosmetic improvement, please remember the goal: improvement. I for one am proud to say, that all of our Providers and all of our team players promise to deliver their very best, no matter the climate.

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