On my desk is a “news-papery” looking journal called the “Plastic Surgery News.” It comes out monthly and it’s articles are of general interest to plastic surgeons, but are not “scientific” in nature. In this issue, there are some fluff pieces on particular surgeons telling about their lives, a job board, a slate of delegates to vote for – that sort of thing.
The lead article this month is entitled “Plastic surgeons share the good, the bad and the ugly impact of reality TV.” It’s a fairly long piece that describes reality TV shows about plastic surgery told from the plastic surgeon’s perspective who “star” in them. Richard Ellenbogen, an LA cosmetic surgery pioneer who I remember hearing on the radio in the ‘90’s while I was doing my general surgery training, features prominently. He’s long retired, but remembers how the TV show about him and his practice was a double edged sword. It publicized his practice and from that he got a lot of patients, but what the show really wanted was ratings. To get them, they were willing to distort his life both inside and outside his office, and almost put him out of business when they said he retired at the show’s close. He hadn’t!
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