Are you ready to speak with a doctor? Great! We’re glad you’ve made the decision to take this important next step in your research.
It’s also OK to be nervous or second guess yourself. We understand—to support you, RealSelf has a dedicated team to help people connect you with the right practice or board-certified doctor for your needs.
Aptly named Connect, this team helps respond to inquiries from people like you who want more information about treatments, costs, and setting up consultations. We’re happy to hear your story, help you find answers to your questions, and connect you to the right provider for you.
We answered some of the top questions we’ve heard on our calls here because they might help you too.
1. Who are you and why are you calling me?
The Connect program helps many doctors on RealSelf give an extra layer of customer service to potential customers like you. Connect team members take your request and contact you to connect you directly to the doctor’s office by phone. Remember—Connect team members are a direct line between RealSelf and the doctor’s office and they’re happy to help answer your questions.
2. Who will I connect with at the practice?
In addition to the medical staff, most practices offer patient care coordinators who also answer patient questions and set up consultations. Sometimes they assist the doctor by setting up in-office procedures or coordinating surgical procedures. You may also speak with a receptionist who takes phone calls, schedules appointments, and greets patients when they arrive at the office.
3. Who will be performing my treatment?
This depends on the treatment you’re scheduling. For instance, many nonsurgical treatments—like injectable fillers or non-surgical fat reduction—can be performed by a nurse practitioner (NP), physician assistant (PA), or registered nurse (RN) with specialized training. Some skin care treatments—like chemical peels or laser resurfacing—can be delivered by a medical aesthetician. Any surgical procedure should be performed by a licensed and board-certified doctor, so make sure you research and ask about their training and credentials. (Tip: you can find the credentials of every doctor on RealSelf under the “About” tab on their profile.)
4. How much is my treatment going to cost?
The cost of any treatment will vary with each person and practice. Some factors affecting the price of a procedure are the time spent with your medical provider, time spent in the operating room, and amount of anesthesia needed. If you’re getting a non-surgical treatment such as injectable fillers, the cost can vary per syringe or amount of product needed and the type of medical provider performing the treatment. For instance, getting your fillers from a trained clinician like an RN or PA may lower the price you pay for the procedure. Having a non-surgical treatment performed by an MD or DO is typically more expensive as their time is often dedicated to surgical procedures.
In general, it’s best to have your doctor’s office answer this question, but we do have a resource so you can see what other RealSelf users have paid in your area. Check out our Treatment pages to get a sense for the average price for treatments in your area.
5. I thought the consultation was free. Why does the office ask for my credit card information?
Many offices will ask for your credit card information to place a deposit on your appointment even if the consultation is free. This is requested to prevent any no-show or missed appointments. Often your deposit will apply toward your treatment with the office. (Tip: mention you saw the doctor on RealSelf to take advantage of any special promotions the office may offer RealSelf members.)
6. Why do I need a consultation? I know what I want and I’ve already met with other doctors.
Medicine is both an art and science; not all doctors have similar training, experience, or technique for the procedure you choose. To serve you better, doctors like to see their potential patients either virtually or in person to make sure all your questions are answered, set expectations around outcomes, and help you understand exactly how they will proceed with your surgical or non-surgical procedure.
7. I’m still in the early stages of my research. What do I need to know while I consider additional doctors?
It’s common to meet with more than one doctor to see if they have different recommendations for you. You can Find a Doctor on RealSelf or have one of our Connect representatives guide you to find doctors that meet your criteria. Our doctor community has also shared their expert advice and recommendations for finding a good plastic surgeon.