Honesty is the best policy.
Seems sort of obvious but you’d be surprised how many docs out there will tell you what you want to hear just to get your money. It doesn’t matter if they can deliver the results they promise, or recommend something that won’t work. By the time you figured out it didn’t work there will be something new they will recommend that will be “better”. Sometimes it’s not the doc’s fault. There is so much pressure by manufacturers with direct to consumer advertising that the docs can feel inadequate if they don’t recommend what is being pushed onto the consumer / patient. Also, so called “experts” that promote certain technologies, will many times have conflicts of interest related to financial interests in the technology they are selling. FYI – Some Dermatologists are notorious for not telling the whole truth. They will sell you one laser after another, or inject you with the latest filler just to keep you in the office. They aren’t surgeons so they can’t do surgery. God forbid they would refer you to a surgeon when surgery is the right option. (I’m sure I will make a few of enemies with this past statement but – WTF – just keeping it real.)
Anyway, I’ve tried to make it a habit to tell my patients what I feel is the truth. I will often tell them not to do something so that they don’t look out of whack. If they are not really going to see improvement, why waste their money and get them pissed off? Sometimes the truth hurts both of us. Sometimes I will recommend to the patient that they would get the best result if they would do “more” surgery than they might have otherwise considered. This can result in the patient going somewhere else where the doc will recommend less, at a lower cost. I get it. Oh well.
Of course all of this is not to say that everything is so black and white. There is a lot of gray. That’s really the art of medicine. There can definitely be different opinions on what looks good and how to get there. That’s what makes the world go round. In the end I guess it’s up to the patient to find the right doc that shares their own sense of beauty, style, etc. Anyway, for 25 years I’ve tried to be as honest as possible with my patients. I think they appreciate it.