Many cosmetic and plastic surgeons have tapped into the Internet to find patients, setting up attractive websites and listing themselves on doctor directories so that patients can find them easily with basic search engine search. Now, some doctors are taking things to the next level by performing online consultations for patients at no extra charge.
SurgeonHouseCall.com has automated the process of consulting with a surgeon by allowing patients to fill out an online form about the procedures or treatments they are interested in. The patient has the option to upload images to a private account, and up to three surgeons can review the data and get in touch with the patient with an estimated cost for their procedure, and a possible treatment plan at their practice.
Dr. Jason Mussman, the founder of SurgeonHouseCall.com, states that this process allows the patient to “meet face-to-face with the doctor of their choice and have a more focused conversation detailing specific outcomes and scheduling.”
Many prospective patients do months of research before undergoing plastic and cosmetic surgery, and many turn to the Internet for information.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons advises patients to do extensive research about the doctor so that they can learn about the doctor’s track record, look at before and after photos of successful procedures, confirm that the doctor is board-certified to perform the selected procedure, and find out what the specific treatment costs will be.
Patients who are ready to take the next step to set up their consultation may be able to make a more informed decision by creating a profile on sites like SurgeonHouseCall.com and comparing quotes and responses from their selected doctors. SurgeonHouseCall.com is free to join and use, but an online consultation still has its limitations.
The President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Dr. Michael McGuire, questions the legality of this process and says that patient should not schedule surgery only after communicating with a physician online.