Congratulations to you Dr. Buford on being the city winner of the Doctors’ Choice Awards in Plastic Surgery 2015 Englewood! How excited are you on winning this award?
When I first learned that I won the award, actually it is not me that won the award, but was actually myself and my staff were very excited and honored to be the recipients of this acknowledgement. So very excited.
You have received great reviews from your peers in the industry. So what was your first thought on Doctor’s Choice Awards?
I was very impressed that this new site actually was developed for addressing peer to peer reviews. I love the fact that you are able to comment on the leaders within your own industry and the fact this is not a popularity contest. This is actually based upon merits and reviews from other physicians, and not simply as many of these sites are, who happens to work at a specific hospital. So I was very honored again to have other peers who I have mutual respect for as well to call out our practice in a very positive way and acknowledge that we have given back to our patients in regards to great results and hopefully great customer service as well too. So again it’s a great honor.
What conditions are commonly treated by you in your office? And what do you believe sets you and your practice apart from others?
Well surgically, the number one thing that we actually treat is breast cancer addressing breast enhancement. We work with a number of patients for primary enhancement that is it’s a first time breast augmentation or breast augmentation lip. We also work with a number of patients as well too for secondary breast augmentation that is revising a result that overtime is either not held up or that was never really a result they were looking for. My practice also offers a number of other options as well to their non-surgical. We offer the RF technology which is noninvasive heat related ability to tighten skin and shrink fat. We offer all basic injectables Botox, Juvéderm, Voluma and also offer Sculptra as well. We offer medical skin care. We offer essentially surgical means to address what we can do surgically and then we also address the fact that there is a rapidly growing interest in noninvasive means for areas such as skin tightening, body contouring as well as facial rejuvenation. So we are looking at what patients are asking for not only within US but also abroad and try to deliver them as effectively and as efficiently as possible.
How long have you been established in your practice? And what kind of culture have you created in your practice?
I have been in practice for 15 years, majority of that was actually in a group practice. I now am acting solo. We went solo latter part of 2015, the type of culture we try to create is a very patient centric culture. This is reflected in my previous book that was released back in 2010 called Beauty and the Business. This is good book essentially geared towards teaching the importance or emphasizing the importance of a customer centric practice. Why is it important? It is important because this is something we never learned in medical school. This is something I learned over the years. My father had his own business as well too and so I have learned that you really delivering just a good product isn’t enough. This day and age your best marketing is not only creating a great end product, but also delivering a great customer experience along the way. So, we try to look at it how can we actually deliver this and create an experience for the patient that is completely different than the experience they will get from any other practice and in the end, that has been the most effective way to get the word out about our practice, because we don’t pay anything for this. This is something that we treat other people just like they would like to be treated. We try to anticipate their needs. We try to exceed their needs. Instead of putting up a fancy billboard I would much rather deliver a high end quality customer service experience to our patients and have them actually spread the word, and they do. So ultimately this is proved beneficial for us and it is a model that a lot of people are actually incorporating into their practices as competition increases over time.
As a plastic surgeon, you have helped thousands of women and men look their very best. So what do you believe defines the term “Beauty”?
That’s a good question and a very hard question to answer. I think to say that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder is to simply repeat an old phrase. But I think beauty is more of a feeling, it’s very intangible. And, in a sense that you really can’t put an actual definition on beauty because what is beautiful on one face or one body may not be beautiful in another body. But, I say that’s one attribute that defines the essence of a person. In other words, is it the appearance of their neckline, or is it the appearance of their facial shape? and for everybody it’s very different. And in reality, this is why it’s very different or very difficult, very challenging within my field to accomplish great results that are very natural because trying to mimic what we’ve seen in the past, that’s actually very easy. A lot of people will simply do that through measurements, through preformatted and prefabricated ideals of beauty. That’s the easy way. To try to actually capture the beauty, there’s beauty in everyone’s face there really is, there’s beauty in everyone’s face and really identify what that specific aspect is that is beautiful about a specific person, that’s a challenge, and therein lies the rub. That’s the challenge you have to identify in every person and that’s what differentiates the good plastic surgeon from the less experienced plastic surgeon.
As to my understanding, you effortlessly balance the roles of being a great surgeon, an educator, an author, an advisor, etc. How do you do that?
It’s a great question. In all reality or in all honesty, it’s actually very Easy. Reason being, everything you just mentioned actually plays into each other. All those roles the author, the artist, the surgeon, the advisor, all these things actually help strengthen all the other integral parts of what I do in my life of personal and professional. As an advisor I am able to interact with peers from across the US and also across the world as well and stay on top of the latest trends and actually bring to my patients information that, for many practitioners is simply not accessible. Does it take time away from my schedule? Absolutely. But in doing that, it also helps me to educate myself in a way, in a practical way, that again helps me grow my practice. As an author, it forces me to stay on top of my field, and by doing this, I am able to do just that – stay on top of my field and offer my patients the very latest and greatest. And at the same time, I am able to do something that is very important very valuable to me and that’s educating other people, whether its consumers or other medical professionals. So I think all these things that I do in my personal and professional life again they are all inter connected. If they were all very different or if they were not inter-related then the time necessary would be, I would say, next to impossible. But the fact of matter is that these are so inter connected that I think they actually really help me become a stronger physician and provide better services to patients overall.
Do you believe collaboration and networking among doctors through services and programs such as Doctors’ Choice Awards play a significant role in the success of a modern medical professional?
I actually do. I think the online collaboration between not only plastic surgeons to Plastic Surgeons, but also among all the core aesthetic specialties and even beyond. I think it is something that is gaining in
popularity, and something that will definitely strengthen medicine in the long run. I use a number of platforms such as Doctors’ Choice to interact with other physicians, to collaborate with them, to ask the questions. This makes me a stronger physician. I think the challenge of private practice is that you’re really, in effect, on an island, I practice alone, I’m still a professional, so whereas I see my staff and I see other medical professionals running the operating room. When I’m not in the operating room, I’m very much isolated, and so being able to collaborate with other professionals on various sites such as Doctors’ Choice Awards does allow me the ability to integrate better with good professional community on a nationwide as well as on an international basis as well too and become a better professional and better physician overall.
Do you plan to take your practice to the next level? Or rather what are your future plans?
I never want to slow down. I enjoy what I do. I would be bored keeping it the same level. My goal is to continually expand my practice but that doesn’t mean make it bigger, it means refine it, make it more, make it better for my patients. To offer procedures that are even more efficient, more effective. I’m going to be adding on more of a nutritional component with release of my book Nutric heal. This is something we’ve already integrated into the practice, but I hope to take it even further, as well as incorporating more non-invasive technologies into what I offer patients on a daily basis. So how I practice currently in 2016, is most likely to be very different than how I practice in 2017 and beyond. I look forward to the challenge. I’ve got the best staff in the world, so I know that we, as a team, will be able to meet these challenges head on. And again, refine what we do in offering not only better results, but even more comprehensive, more outstanding customer service to our clients.