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The Aesthetic Medicine Patient-Centered Consult

  • July 6, 2021

Too often, "bean counters," tell us that we are falling short. They come up with some scheme for us to see more patients than we can reasonably see or how to "create" more procedures than necessary. This is basic or practice-focused medicine and, in my opinion, it is unethical and immoral. It is also outside of what we are called to do and is unnecessary and contrary to a healthy practice.

What I believe builds a healthy practice and is simply at the heart of doing what is right for patients, is the patient-centered consultation. This type of consultation is designed to get to the root of the patient's problems and do everything possible to help them achieve their aesthetic and health goals. If you are interested in cosmetic surgery treatment training, there are many Aesthetic Medicine online courses out there.

In this age of population-based medicine, we've all been told to do the minimum, but that doesn't change the fact that our patients care about optimal health and outcomes. Olympic athletes do not win their competitions by training to the minimum nor will our patients be cared for by providing the minimum. Let's look at an example of how population-based medicine is infiltrating the exam room in a way that is not fully understood by physicians and yet has a huge impact on the individual (many similar examples can be seen in medicine current).

So what is patient-centered consultation? Medicine is complex and, in particular, Aesthetic Medicine is complex, yet it has been reduced to snippets of sound on television. Commercials ask the question "Is it better than Botox?" or "Is it better than a medical peel?" however, they don't give the answer or any really useful information. Patients generally do not have a realistic idea of what can and cannot be done for them. The patient-centered consultation is an educational experience for the patient that helps them understand what is realistic and what is not.

It begins with a detailed understanding of the patient's concerns, not the treatments they are interested in. Most cosmetic patients arrive thinking they know what they want. For example, many think they need an upper eyelid blepharoplasty, but what they really need is a brow lift. Others come asking about fillers but really need Botox or vice versa. Understanding what concerns them is not found by asking what interests them, but what their concerns are.