MAY-JUN 2017

MedEsthetics—business education for medical practitioners—provides the latest noninvasive cosmetic procedures, treatment trends, product and equipment reviews, legal issues and medical aesthetics industry news.

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Page 58 of 67 | MAY/JUNE 2017 57 the market pays and compensate them well," he says. "But you have to structure their bonuses emotionally too by recognizing holidays, being there for their kids, giving them time off and acknowledging their accomplishments. That's not just economics; it's the emotional side of the practice of medicine." In order to overcome compliance and business challeng- es, Dr. Vanek stays up to date with local and national plastic surgery societies, and participates in state politics. "Being involved politically means you keep yourself informed; you keep reading and you stay engaged and in contact with your legislators," he says. His advice for physicians entering the fi eld is to fi nd a surgeon-mentor who can help prepare them for business ownership. "Residency training is supposed to instill in you the principles of surgery; it doesn't always foster the most optimal business practices that are required of a surgeon when he enters practice," says Dr. Vanek. "Something new doctors may not know is that we have a young plastic sur- geons section at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). There are certainly surgeons—like me—who are willing to be mentors." In order to provide the best care for his patients, Dr. Vanek is constantly on the lookout for new techniques and practices to incorporate into his surgeries as well. He reads the scientifi c literature, watches instructional videos, discusses the techniques with other practitioners, and attends courses and live demonstrations. "I may do an element of a new procedure and incorporate it into an existing procedure before I do the full-on new thing," he says. "I fi nd and integrate new techniques by watching masterful surgeons perform the procedures and going to educational symposia. I've learned something new every year I've been in practice." AN ATMOSPHERE OF TRUST When consulting with patients, Dr. Vanek's approach is to educate and inform them every step of the way. "I pre- fer primarily to engage each patient Socratically: If they're highly intelligent then you can be very detailed in terms of biochemistry and anatomy; if they're not as educated, you have to make sure you're sensitive to their intellec- tuality without being paternalistic," he says. "You have to balance the science of your surgical education with the art of communication." He employs before and after photos of previous patients who presented with similar concerns, and favors frank disclosure about whether the patient's issue is common or if a pictured solution may be more diffi cult to achieve due to unique concerns. "Part of our mission statement is, 'We operate and fully communicate in an atmosphere of trust and respect, nurturing with love and compassion as we add the highest value to every patient,'" explains Dr. Vanek. "I'm a positive person, and I try to be very straightforward. I want to build patients' self-esteem and enhance their internal and external beauty. Dr. Vanek takes the time to educate patients and instill realistic expectations through the use of technology and before and after photos. FRAME: © GETTY IMAGES

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