Patient moved to tears, before/after photos… Many plastic surgeons who practice privately, including Quebecers, use social media to promote their business and have thousands of subscribers. They are there so much that some of them have already noticed the phenomenon of “influential doctors”.
Dr. Hani Snow welcomes us to his clinic in downtown Montreal. He is an avid Instagram user, with nearly 30,000 subscribers following him. In his eyes, the arrival of Instagram has
I changed Game In his profession.
In one year, my practice increased by 30% just because I'm on Instagramsays Dr. Snow, who has been using this social network since 2017. He describes himself as
A little influentialsince
Thousands of people Look at him stories every day.
Dr. Seno's clinic, in downtown Montreal.
Photo: Radio-Canada/Violet Cantin
We have identified more than a dozen plastic surgeons in Quebec who are particularly active on social networks. On their Instagram and TikTok accounts, they post all kinds of content showcasing their profession and clients. These flyers are often accompanied by their clinic phone number as well as an invitation to call to schedule an appointment.
This growing presence on social media is growing, Dr. Snow explains. In the past, he organized a grand opening ceremony for his clinic and invited many influential people to it.
They took videos and made them Tagsthe follower Likes. I've grown 10,000, 15,000 [abonnés] Only with this evening.
He explained that he did not pay them, because such a practice was prohibited by the College of Physicians.
Basic social networks?
Plastic surgeons in Quebec are not the only ones using social networks. This phenomenon can be observed elsewhere, such as in the United States, where some professionals sometimes have millions of subscribers on TikTok and Instagram.
Montreal-area surgeon Ari Benchetrit says he sees that
As a primary form of marketing to reach demographic groups that matter to us.
According to him, it is difficult to escape from it.
Potential patients talk about us and compare their surgeries. So, even indirectly, we are all involved in social networks.
Laval-based Dr. Benoit LeBlanc also shares photos and videos with his nearly 15,000 subscribers on Instagram.
These are things we have been able to do, and they are results that can be achieved. Could this create complexes in people? He leaves his question hanging before continuing:
We can receive patients who, even with normal anatomy, would never be able to achieve as good results as some other patients.
Guidance is not always respected
The College of Physicians publishes an exercise manual (A new window) To regulate advertisements and public statements for doctors.
We have noted that compliance with at least one of the directives in this approximately fifteen-page guide can fluctuate. This rule stipulates that doctors who post pictures such as before and after treatment of a patient must attach a warning text specifying that these pictures
No guarantee of results is made.
There were 125 plastic surgeons in the province in 2022. In the Instagram accounts of the 13 practitioners we found, all of them posted several times a week, seven of them had at least one before/after post that did not include the mandatory warning text.
The College of Physicians explained this to us in writing with before and after pictures
It can help inform the public about the nature of services provided to some extent. However, they must respect the conditions specified in the exercise manual..
It will get worse
Dr. Genevieve Blackburn, unlike her colleagues interviewed, practically does not post photos of her clients on her Instagram account. She explains this, among other things, by the fact that she has few places for new patients and that she does not want to be in front of the camera. However, she believes that some of her colleagues can be described as influential doctors.
There is a place for everything informational and educational, who has worked in aesthetic medicine for 15 years, thinks so. But in the field of medical cosmetics,
There are too many accounts, and it gets worse with too many filters [appliqués sur les photos] And before/after is really unrealistic.
“We arrive with patients who have unrealistic ideas, either with their budget or with their faces,” she says. Patients are not able to get a good understanding of how their face is aging or what can be done with a certain amount of products.
The College of Physicians recognizes this
The issue of using filters is not specifically addressed In her manual, she states that the code of ethics states that a doctor cannot do this
False, misleading or incomplete advertisements or representations.
A phenomenon that raises questions
Regular use of social networks by some doctors
It raises ethical and professional questionsAccording to ethicist and associate professor at the University of Montreal's Faculty of Public Health Emmanuel Marceau.
We see that the advantages of plastic surgery are being promoted. […] Should these practices be displayed in this way on the web?
Camille Allwing, a professor in the Department of Social and Public Communication at the University of Quebec in Montreal, points out, for his part
A new way to make medical practices visible. Points at pass it
It could reduce plastic surgery practices, which are not that trivial.
He adds that the matter is not without consequences.
Today we have quite a few studies that show that some audiences, especially teens, females and males alike, are realizing a new standard of beauty and appearance through the posts they constantly see, especially on Instagram.
These plastic surgery videos once again help to redefine the beauty of a beautiful nose and chest. He confirms without hesitation that he observed a phenomenon
College of Physicians
Mr. Alwing offers broader thinking about commodification in the age of social media.
Is it ethical or not for plastic surgeons to use platforms like Instagram? […] To turn their patients' bodies into advertising objects?
To this question, the College of Physicians answers that it is
Feeling concerned about the situation He invites anyone who thinks he is a doctor
Violates his ethical obligations To do so
Report via [son] website.
The president of the Association of Specialists in Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery of Quebec, Eric Bensimon, declined an interview request, but responded in writing:
We encourage our members to stay informed and respect the rules and laws of the practice of plastic medicine and surgery.
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