Have you ever given someone a compliment and watched their face light up?
Making people feel better about themselves is a rewarding pastime, and something as simple as a compliment is free and easy to give.
Plastic surgery may seem unrelated to this idea, but we’re here to tell you that it really isn’t.
Some people can receive compliments all day long about how beautiful or attractive they are, but in their minds they may be thinking,
“I would be more beautiful if only my nose wasn’t so big,” or, “If only my stomach was flatter, then I really would be attractive.”
Such a mindset can be frustrating to have, and it can seem like there is no way to overcome negative thinking.
Giving Back as a Plastic Surgeon
Giving people the body or face they want through plastic surgery is one of the most rewarding actions you can take.
Watching their confidence grow as they come in for follow-up appointments and they see their appearance taking shape the way they want it to; there’s nothing like it.
Plastic surgery isn’t all about aesthetics and cosmetics, however, some plastic surgeons only perform restorative surgery.
That means if someone has gone through a traumatic experience and suffered from an injury (such as a broken nose), you are their life-line to get back to a normal existence.
Plastic surgery isn’t all about boob jobs and tummy tucks.
As a plastic surgeon, you can be the reason someone stops dreading to look in the mirror because they have to relive a horrible experience every time they see their scars.
Financial Gain as a Plastic Surgeon
All that being said, making people feel good about themselves isn’t the only perk that comes with being a plastic surgeon.
You’re also looking at making an average of $317,000 a year (according to Medscape in 2012).
And that’s just the average for cosmetic surgeons who offer cost effective quotes.
Also, if you’re really good at what you do and operate in high economy country, you could be looking at making closer to a million dollars a year.
That’s arguably better than giving someone their self-confidence back, although both are rewarding in their own way.
In a survey done among plastic surgeons, very few of them actually cited pay as the best part of their job.
So if you want to get into plastic surgery for the money, that’s all well and good, but keep in mind the gratitude your patients will show you will go a lot further.
The Education for a Plastic Surgeon
Malpractice lawsuits are nothing to laugh at, which is why the educated required to get into this field is definitely a good thing.
If just anyone could become a surgeon, you’d have students lining up with that $317,000 paycheck in mind, not really taking into consideration how grueling the work can be.
In order to become a plastic surgeon, it usually takes two to three years of additional educated, past what you’ve already accomplished as a general surgeon.
Making sure you know what you’re doing is an important aspect of this career field, and it will pay off in the long run (in more ways than just money).
Express Yourself as a Plastic Surgeon
Very few people would normally consider surgery as an area where you can express your creativity.
However, as a plastic surgeon, you will be called upon to exercise a certain amount of artistic skill in order to achieve what your patient is looking for.
This makes the job desirable in many ways, mainly because it’s not a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits all type of career.
If you opt for cosmetic surgery you have to make choices based on the patient’s body type or their facial structure.
Nothing is one-size-fits-all when it comes to cosmetic surgery, even if the patient may think it’s that way.
Finding the best way to reshape a nose, or finding the right size and shape implants for breast augmentation isn’t as easy as most people would think.
Keep in mind, however, that even though work as a plastic surgeon may be hard sometimes, finding a creative outlet that ties in with your day job can be it’s own benefit.
Most people show up to a desk job that they hate but they keep going because it pays the bills.
Plastic surgeons may have days like that, but the life-changing procedures they offer coupled with the self-care of having that creative outlet allows them to find more pride in their work.
Plastic surgeons who focus on reconstructive surgery have their own hurdles to overcome, but they employ creativity and artistry just as much as cosmetic surgeons, if not more so.
Reconstructive surgeons are often the unsung heroes that help people pick their lives up after a traumatic incident.
Therapists and counselors are usually the ones who get high praise for helping people work through their issues.
However, if you’re dealing with a physical issue that was caused by your experience, finding a surgeon to correct it can be even more therapeutic than therapy.
A car accident can leave someone scarred, domestic abuse can leave noses crooked, breast cancer can leave women self-conscious… the list goes on.
Birth defects are also a big reason why many people seek out plastic surgery, it isn’t always about an accident.
Being the reason why someone is happy to see themselves in the mirror gives plastic surgeons the boost they need to keep going, and it makes everyone’s lives a little bit better.
Plastic Surgery is Always in Demand
Unlike many career fields, plastic surgery is an area that continues to grow in demand year after year.
Technology is advancing, which means procedures are safer and more effective than ever before.
Society is starting to be more accepting of plastic surgery as time goes on, which increases the desire to have a facelift or undergo breast augmentation.
As a plastic surgeon, you will probably never see a day where people aren’t looking to enhance or alter their appearance.
As it becomes more popular to be a plastic surgeon, the business that want to help them succeed grow as well.
Marketing agencies and practice managers are all looking to find the right plastic surgeon to pair up with so you both can grow and expand.
Managing your own practice may be difficult, but you don’t have to do it alone.
With the help of trained professionals, you can succeed and move forward in astounding ways.
This content is written by Dr. Jeanette Padgett, MD FACS.
Dr. Padgett received her medical training in OKC and also began her professional plastic surgery career in Oklahoma.
She has been a practicing plastic surgeon in Oklahoma City since 1990.