Plastic Surgery Research Council

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The Impact of Social Media on a Chief Resident Aesthetic Clinic
Paymon Sanati-Mehrizy, MD, Ilana G. Marguiles, Peter J. Taub, MD.
Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.

Purpose: Whether patient-driven or surgeon-driven, social media can serve as a strong marketing tool to attract plastic surgery patients. At many training programs, chief residents have the opportunity to run an independent clinic, in which patients are evaluated for aesthetic and reconstructive procedures. Patients electing to undergo aesthetic surgery may do so with minimal or no surgeon's fee. The authors sought to investigate the effect of a single positive review on a major social review site.
Methods: Operating room case logs at a single urban training program were queried for purely aesthetic cases performed through the chief resident clinic between the years 2012 and 2018. Procedures performed by non-plastic surgery services did not meet inclusion criteria and were not included.
Results: A total of 1,734 cases were identified and met inclusion criteria between 2012 2018. The range of cases performed annually via the resident clinic was 230 to 338 (Figure 1). From 2012 to 2016, the years prior to the review, aesthetic cases grew from 39 to 63 total cases (17% compounded annual growth rate). However, after the review was posted in September 2016, a total of 86 aesthetic cases were performed in the 2016-2017 academic year, resulting in a 37% growth rate (Figure 2). A large portion of this increase in growth can be attributed to the growth in number of rhytidectomies performed (6 in '15-'16 to 24 in '16-'17). The highest percentage of cosmetic cases performed by a single chief resident was 41.67%, which was during the 2016 - 2017 academic year. During that year, the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery procedures were abdominoplasty, rhytidectomy, reduction mammaplasty, augmentation mammaplasty, and rhinoplasty.
Conclusions: The present study evaluated the impact of social media on the volume of aesthetic cases performed through an established chief resident clinic and its utility in patient recruitment. As noted herein, chief residents had an increase in the number of aesthetic surgery cases they performed after their clinic was featured on an online social media physician review website. These results further reinforce the impact social media and an online presence have in plastic surgery.


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