Doing the Impossible for the Ungrateful: The Dilemmas of a Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Kenneth Hughes, Los Angeles plastic surgeon, performs more plastic surgical procedures than virtually any other surgeon in the country. The list of complicated combination and revision procedures is long, too long to elaborate here. This article is more about how patient perception and public perception warps the profession in a most negative way.
First realize that Dr. Hughes graduated at the top of an elite high school, graduated with honors in Biology from Harvard University, graduated at the top of his medical school class, scored in the top 1% nationally on all board exams, gained acceptance to an integrated plastic surgery program (one of 70 out of thousands of applicants from top medical school graduates), and earned the one and only aesthetic position in the Harvard Medical School Fellowship. Second, realize that Dr. Hughes’ effort and dedication to perfection and learning is unyielding. Third, realize that the passion that Dr. Kenneth Hughes has for his profession has no equal. Dr. Hughes truly cares about his patients and their well being.
With all of that being said, Dr. Hughes’s practice is not like others. Patients frequently seek out Dr. Hughes to perform what other surgeons cannot. Patients seek out Dr. Hughes for difficult or unusual procedures to correct difficult problems. Dr. Hughes is a last chance for many revision and reconstruction patients. So when this is the patient population and more than 95% of the patients are happy with the results, this is the type of excellence many only dream about. Sounds perfect right? Far from it.
The truth is that this happy 95% rarely write positive reviews. Though they may be happy or even ecstatic with their life-changing results, writing a positive review for Dr. Hughes is not one of their priorities. It should be but it is not. Some patients say they will and forget and lose interest.
However, the negative reviews will always be written. Written by troglodytes of the lowest intellectual order who could not in a million years accomplish even a fraction of that accomplished by Dr. Hughes. Written by a dubious and reprobate few who seek to extort additional fees or refunds. There is a reckoning to be sure and they will have to pay for those misdeeds in the next life. However, on this earth, Dr. Hughes frequently lets these people slide with their asinine, misinformed, or obviously nonfactual, malicious, and defamatory reviews. Doctors are expected to somehow stay above the fray, though it is tempting to verbally annihilate these individuals. How hard would it be for Dr. Hughes to contradict and demoralize said individuals in a discussion about plastic surgery or any other intellectual matter for that matter? It would not be.
However, God teaches to forgive. Jesus teaches to turn the other cheek. God will punish. Sometimes, Christians are the vehicle for that message. Pray and listen for guidance.