Patient Reviews and Testimonials
The decision to undergo cosmetic surgery, whether on the breast, body, face or nose, is a big one. It requires thorough research and consideration of the procedure, surgical risks and costs. Ultimately, you’ll have to decide if it’s really going to be worth it.
Previously, word of mouth was the best way to get recommendations about individual surgeons and recommended surgical options. You could seek information from your GP, your friends and your family.
Now, the internet has a never-ending spread of information you can access to aid your surgical decision. It’s never been easier to access reviews and options on Google, surgeon websites, social media, review sites and forums. And while having this information an arms reach away can feel empowering, the sheer amount of information on the internet can be overwhelming for some. And, not to mention, misleading.
When seeking reviews or testimonials about a particular surgeon or cosmetic procedure, we encourage you to ask those you know and trust first. The opinions of your local doctor, medical specialist, friends and family are the most critical. These are people you know and trust, and these are the people who will always give you their honest, straightforward answer.
Why We Can’t Show Patient Reviews on Our Website
The Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA) does not allow the posting of testimonials on any doctor’s website. This was a ban that was put in place to help counteract fake testimonials used by other surgeons and medical clinics.
Dr Doyle feels extremely honoured when his patients reach out personally to thank him, whether it’s with cards, gifts, letters or positive online reviews. Unfortunately, due to government regulations, he isn’t permitted to share these with you through his website or any of his social media accounts.
Gold Coast Plastic Surgery’s goal, always, is to provide the best possible patient experience. This allows us to benefit from many positive and honest word of mouth referrals. We have a great community of patients who talk about their experience with Dr Doyle positively.
Be Wary of Positive Online Reviews
Although the AHPRA ban doesn’t allow the posting of testimonials on a doctor’s website, there are no guidelines or laws in place to prevent cosmetic clinics from faking their own reviews on independent websites.
Our plastic surgery clinic has a strict code of ethics where we prohibit our staff from writing reviews and endorsements about Dr Doyle on review sites, forums and discussion boards. We wish that all medical staff had the same ethics.
We’d like to put a warning in place for those seeking honest reviews and patient testimonials, to be wary and speculative of what you’re reading.
While there is some value in online reviews, not everything you see online is genuine feedback from personal experience.
Keep in mind that the anonymous reviews posted on sites such as Realself, RateMDs, Truelocal and WhatClinic are not always factual. A genuine patient review is likely to outline their experience in a positive manner using detail. And, these patients typically aren’t afraid to post publicly using their name.
You can easily access these reviews sites by typing in the name of your potential surgeon following by the word “reviews.” We just encourage you to be careful and speculative about what you’re reading.
The same goes for negative reviews.
Be Wary of Bad or Negative Surgeon Reviews
Unfortunately, nearly every plastic surgeon has some negative reviews online. We’ve seen negative reviews of excellent surgeons who we would trust to operate on ourselves, our friends and our family.
Some bad reviews on plastic surgeon websites have been traced back to reviewers who are not even patients of the clinic. Instead, they are often competitors trying to damage the surgeon’s reputation. Some surgeons have successfully sued over this kind of misconduct.
How Do Fake Bad or Negative Reviews Happen?
Patients may write negative reviews online to bring down their surgeon because, in their mind, their surgeon failed to meet their expectations. These patients often had an excellent result but expected more in their life to change than just how they look. When they realise that undergoing plastic surgery was not the change they needed, this group of people often attempt to bring down their surgeon. They do this by posting multiple negative reviews under fake names.
Another source of negative reviews are patients who are unhappy because they experienced one of the many known risks of surgery. These are patients with real medical complications, all of which they were warned about prior to surgery. Patients who experienced a problem after their surgery typically become disheartened to learn that they then require revisional surgery. This can prompt a negative experience.
Complications of plastic surgery can happen to anyone, regardless of their surgeon. This is something explained in significant detail during the consultation phase of the plastic surgery journey. A medical complication can disappoint both the surgeon and the patient, however, a good surgeon will go out of their way to ensure the problem is resolved.
How to Find the Best Plastic Surgeon For You
There are a few ways you can find the best plastic surgeon for you. Firstly, always do your research and carefully select a doctor that is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with years of experience.
A specialist plastic surgeon has had extensive surgical education and training including a minimum of 12 years of medical and surgical education and at least 5 years of specialist postgraduate training in a teaching hospital. To ensure you end up in good hands, always check the following:
1. FRACS (Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons)
The letters FRACS (Plast) indicates that your surgeon is a commonwealth accredited plastic surgeon who has been trained by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and undergone four or more years of additional specialist training in plastic surgery.
2. Registered with AHPRA
It’s a legal requirement for any medical practitioner to be registered with AHPRA. By searching for your surgeon’s name on AHPRA’s website, you check that they’re registered, check their specialist qualifications and also check if they have any restrictions on their scope of practice.
3. You Feel Comfortable and Well-Informed
Once you’ve confirmed that your surgeon is qualified and trained, the best way you can choose the right surgeon for you is to ensure that you leave your initial consultation well-informed and with a good feeling about your surgeon.
You should feel like you know everything about the procedure, its benefits, the risks involved as well as any options you have. You should always feel as though your surgeon has listened to you and understood your goals and wishes for your surgery.
The Best Solution is to Always Educate Yourself
Instead of focusing wholeheartedly on what the reviews say – the best way to choose the best plastic surgeon for you is through research and education. Browse our website, download our guides and ask questions.
We wish you the best of luck in your search!