Choosing a plastic surgeon is a very important and complex decision. Of course you want to choose someone who is board certified, has a great deal of experience and comes highly recommended. However, when you go into that first consultation you are also looking for something else – that intangible “it” that the judges on American Idol are always talking about. Of course for a plastic surgeon this has nothing to do with stage presence or singing ability, instead it is about whether you feel the surgeon understands your needs and expectations and can care for and comfort you when you are at your most vulnerable. Patients usually find that, as a whole, female plastic surgeons are more sensitive to their thoughts and feelings and treat them with more consideration and respect. Studies have shown that female doctors, on average, spend more time talking with their patients than their male counterparts. As a result, female plastic surgeons are more likely to take the time to extensively discuss the different treatment options available and to listen to their patient’s wants and needs to figure out what the best course of action is for that particular patient.
For female patients, having a female plastic surgeon allows them to feel comfortable and relaxed enough to talk freely about their issues with their appearance without fear or embarrassment. Often times they want to discuss topics of a highly sensitive nature and desire cosmetic procedures for intimate areas, like labiaplasty or breast surgery. So, obviously, many women feel more comfortable talking to a surgeon of the same sex. In general, women naturally feel more comfortable talking about their body issues to other women because they believe a woman can understand and relate to their feelings better than a man. Given the empathetic ear of a female surgeon, these patients can truly open up. Plus there is the embarrassment factor. Many women do not feel comfortable undressing, let alone showing their most private areas, to a male stranger, even if he is a doctor.
Many men prefer female plastic surgeons for similar reasons. Male patients expect to receive more empathy and sensitivity from a female surgeon. Also, men are by nature very competitive. As a result, either consciously or unconsciously, they shy away from showing signs of weakness, uncertainty or doubt to other men. This mind-set prevents them from openly sharing their problems and perceived flaws with another man, especially when it concerns sensitive issues like male gynecomastia (enlarged breasts).