Online information is so difficult to decipher that you have to kind of check and confirm. If somebody says: “Well, go to this doctor, he is amazing”. And then you go online and see he has 3 bad reviews. You have to then ask yourself “Well, wait a second, I respect my doctor, why would they send me to somebody that doesn’t have good reviews? And the answer to that is probably that their patients that are happy don’t write reviews! If they have 3 bad reviews and he’s treated 10,000 patients, well that’s a pretty good number. The problem is, is that the other 9997 patients didn’t go online and say “Hey, he’s great!
Caller: Where do plastic surgeons operate, in their own operating center or a hospital? Do all the doctors have privileges at the hospitals?
Dr. JC: In order to operate in their facility- if it’s a credentialed facility– and, by the way, you should’n’t be getting procedures done in a facility, even if it’s an office O.R. (operating room) – it still needs to be credentialed.
The bottom line is that they still have to have privileges to do that procedure in a hospital if they’re doing it in their OR, if they’re board certified plastic surgeon. Now, if you’re an opthamologist and you’re doing breast augmentation– there’s a guy, not a block from my office in Beverly Hills who does that– he does not have privileges at Cedars Sinai to do breast augmentation, because he trained in opthamology, which means that he understands diseases of the eye. And so a hospital isn’t going to credential a guy to do breast augmentation, where you need to have knowledge of chest wall anatomy, breast anatomy, breast architecture and breast implants to put in a breast implant. So that opthamologist is not going to be credentialed.
Sylvia: This is confusing for patients because all patients sometimes see is ‘board certified’, but they don’t really know what area they need to be board certified in and what exactly to look for. Sometimes on their website it’s a little vague, exactly what they are board-certified in? Unless it’s like yours, which you always have the symbol on there, showing that you are a board-certified member of that particular board of plastic surgeon.
Dr. JC: Even more powerful than that, you can go to the American Board of Medical Specialties, the website is ABMS.org. If you can’t find it you can go to www.drcalvert.com. I have links to all these boards and credentialing societies, because they really do hold a lot of value for patients, because, for instance, last year it was my time to renew my board-certification I had to do my maintenance of certification.
I was given an American Board of Plastic Surgery certificate with an expiration date, that I had to renew it. When the date passed, I had to still be board-certified, which I am. I did get a 93% on the exam.
But, the truth is, you want to be looking for the things that matter, which is… Is this guy really good at what I want them – does he have all the credentials? your surgeon needs to specialize in what you want them to do, that they have the certification and does he operate in a certified facility?
Nobody is going to tell you, if you go into the office of the opthamologist, for instance, who does breast augmentation- I’m sure he has before and after’s on his website and can pull it off. The problem is, what is something’s not right? What if something’s not normal? And you don’t find out how good your doctor is, until something isn’t right. That’s really where the rubber meets the road, and why you want people who are certified, and checked by these larger bodies, these organizations, to really make sure you really have the right person.
Caller: You do a lot of operating all over the body and the face. I’d assume you had a surgical background before plastic surgery . Is that correct? [Dr. JC: That is correct.] So some of these people don’t have to have a surgical background? What happens if you get sick on the operating table?
Dr. JC: That’s one of the things you really have to ask yourself: Does this doctor have the reputation of being a top doctor amongst their peers and amongst their patients. Again, that’s why the internet fails you.It fails patients on a regular basis because, for instance, I’ve had patients I’ve never operated on. I told them I can’t fix their six-time rhinoplasty because there was no hope. I would just be taking you to the OR to make things the same, or worst, potentially. And they’ve written horrible things about me! Just unloaded! “Who does that guy think he is, sending me out of here? He was my only hope. He’s terrible, somebody should take his license”. Another patient wrote: “He abandoned me.” Because I can’t operate on everybody! And so I got 1-star reviews and I never treated these people! You know, I did see these people in consultations, so ‘technically’ they were treated by me.
So, you go on the internet and you type in “Rhinoplasty doctor” and you don’t know that I’ve been in Paris speaking about Rhinoplasty or that I’ve traveled doing live surgery in congresses and different places [around the world]. You have no idea. You’re at home with the internet. All you see is “Dr. Calvert should lose his license” — one star! You say, “Well, I’m not going to him!”
Caller: Well I’m really glad to hear you talk about this, because I didn’t trust internet reviews and now I understand why I didn’t trust it.
Dr. JC: People don’t know that, so they are 100% fooled, and the problem is, it’s a disservice to the patients. I can promise you, that maybe it will affect my paycheck but maybe it won’t. I don’t know… it’s hard for me to tell because the economy has been crazy and all those sort of things. But I can tell you, I haven’t eaten one less meal because of these problems with the internet. These patients who know, still find their way to me, and they say, “Oh well, the internet is made up of a bunch of mumbo jumbo! I saw so-and-so and you did a great job on that patient!” And so they come in anyway.
The problem is, is that the patients are served up a disservice, because, they’ve now read some terrible review– he’s the worst doctor on earth, so then you go somewhere else, and you go to someone with 95 5-star Google reviews; and I use that number because somebody has that number. And they say, “Oh my God! This doctor has 95 5-star Google reviews! I’m going to him!”
Sylvia: That is such an uneducated decision process. Anyone with a brain would know that they can’t be that accurate..?
Dr. JC: But people are not on their guard on the internet. People read it on the internet, they think it’s real. I’ve had 7 patients. They’ve come to see me, had a consultation, read the bad reviews, went elsewhere, their situation was made worse, they went back to the surgeon because they already paid them, had it made worse, again… And then 4 years later, returned to me and said, “You’ve got to help me.” And now, not only are they 4 years out from where they were when they met me, but they’ve spent loads of money, loads of time, had two more operations, and now they’re going to spend more money on getting themselves out of trouble. And why did they do it? Because they read a review with libelous information in it. They’re behind the 8 ball now. And…they’re 4 years out.
People don’t have surgery to have surgery -they have surgery because they want results. I tell patients are here to give you safety, service, and results. And that’s why people want. They want safety, and they want it to be served to them properly. They want it to be a pleasant experience. They want it to be right, and then they want the results. And if you can’t pull it off in the first go round, think about how hard its gonna be in the second or third. And I just feel bad for these patients that are mislead by information that is not true.
I feel bad for the patients. They is why I created MDInsider.com. It’s not easy and it’s not trivial and we’ve got a long way to go. I think if we can get patients information that helps them in an unbiased manner, where it’s not pay-for-play. You know, it’s like the old mob-with these reviews sites. They would call me up and say, “Hey, for $25,000, we can make these bad reviews go away.” I said, “What bad reviews?” They said, “Oh, you have 6 bad reviews on the website.” I won’t name names, because they’re so ruthless it’s ridiculous, but these websites will call– they know when you’re having problems, and that’s when they flip the switch and really try to drive the dagger in so that the doctor’s sitting there wondering why they keep having to explain these reviews every week. You know, they get tired of it and say, “Fine, here’s the money’. And they do. A lot of people have paid that kind of money. I’ve paid a couple of sites just to get rid of things that weren’t true!
I had a choice. On one site; I could either got through $75,000 to $100,000 in legal fees to possibly find out who did this, and then maybe get able to get rid of it, or I can simple work with the website and have them do the verification process, which they did and they had to call and had to email me, and had a lot to do.
Sylvia: A lot of times it just takes one disgruntled person who makes up names/email addresses and will write many negative reviews.
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Dr. Jay Calvert’s interview by Sylvia the Beverly Hills RN Radio Show on BlogTalkRadio.com can be heard here…
Find out what are Dr. Jay Calvert’s favorite surgeries to perform what a patient traveling from out of the area can expect when they come to Dr. Jay Calvert and Rox Center in Beverly Hills. CLICK HERE…
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Written by Jane Emery