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Changing Patients, Changing Times

By: Merge magazine's editorial advisory board
Posted: November 2, 2010, from the November 2010 issue of
Two women talking and working on a computer

page 3 of 3

I definitely think so, especially in terms of patients and potential patients coming into the office being more knowledgeable. A great many patients I see now have a good knowledge base about the available treatments and even the technology, having heard about and done research on lasers, Botox and Dysport, fillers, and even surgical procedures. The second change I see is patients becoming more involved in the decision-making process in terms of their treatments and even product usage; my relationship with them is now more of a partnership. They more clearly articulate their specific objectives and wishes for the outcomes of treatments, as well as what they are seeking in terms of downtime and other ways they are affected by treatments or surgeries. The third thing I see is many more patients seeking out noninvasive or minimally invasive treatment solutions.
Hema Sundaram, MD, FAAD
Sundaram Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery Center, Rockville, MD, and Fairfax, VA

I think the aesthetic consumer has changed due to the increased potential for patients to more easily access information. This easy access is mostly because of the Internet. Unfortunately, most information on the Internet isn’t always closely monitored for accuracy, and for that reason patients aren’t always getting the best information. As a society, we’ve gotten used to being able to research any topic via the Internet, including cosmetic surgery, and we’re so used to being able to access information at our fingertips. This information can be self-serving to the agency posting it and misleading to the consumer. I think this has changed the aesthetic consumer and the industry a lot.
Jonathan Sykes, MD, FAAD
University of California, Davis Medical Group, Sacramento, CA

I think the consumer is more knowledgeable. Compared with 1995 when I started in practice, more patients who are coming in are specifically asking for a particular product or procedures. So much more information is accessible in the lay press than 15 years ago; nearly everyone has access to information on the Internet, television and in print media. And cosmetic surgery is something for regular folks, not just celebrities or socialites. The noninvasive procedures have become as common as coloring hair.
Heidi Waldorf, MD
Waldorf Dermatology & Laser Associates Nanuet, NY

I’ve been in practice for the past decade, and I firmly believe the aesthetic consumer has changed. These individuals are now savvier and more knowledgeable; they are using a variety of sources to acquire information regarding aesthetics. I feel the Internet has played the major role in this ongoing and dynamic educational process.
Steven G. Yoelin, MD
Private practice, Newport Beach, CA