The biggest hurdle in my profession is an unrealistic patient. If you don’t treat them correctly, they make your life very difficult.

I had a distinct pleasure of interviewing Dr. Farrokh Shafaie, MD

Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Shafaie has been in practice since 1984. Practicing in Summit, New Jersey, and New York City, Dr. Shafaie combines his extensive plastic surgery training with a holistic approach to give you the best results for you. As a pioneer in utilizing holistic medicine in his work, Dr. Shafaie has been featured in Good Morning America, Vogue, W Magazine, and New York Post.

Thank you for joining us! Can you tell our readers a bit about your ‘backstory”?

I am a board-certified Plastic Surgeon in practice for 35 years. I did my Plastic Surgery in New York Hospital Cornel Medical Center. My specialty is cosmetic surgery.

What made you want to start your own practice?

I am a Virgo so that makes me a perfectionist and I know myself and trust I will do the best for my patients.

Managing being a provider and a business owner can often be exhausting. Can you elaborate on how you manage(d) both roles?

I have extraordinary people helping me to manage the office and financial aspect of it, so I can be free to take care of my patients.

As a business owner, how do you know when to stop working IN your business (maybe see a full patient load) and shift to working ON your business?

As I mentioned, I solely attend to my patients and my employees do the rest.

From completing your degree to opening a clinic and becoming a business owner, the path was obviously full of many hurdles. How did you build up resilience to rebound from failures? Is there a specific hurdle that sticks out to you?

The biggest hurdle in my profession is unrealistic patient and if you don’t treat them correctly, they make your life very difficult.

What are your “5 Things You Need to Know to Grow Your Private Practice” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. Be Honest
  2. Treat people as your family member
  3. Perform the simplest procedure to get the same result
  4. Avoid unrealistic patient
  5. See your patients with complications more often

Many healthcare providers struggle with the idea of “monetization”. How did you overcome that mental block?

Your skill to perform surgery is monetization, you study many years to be able to do that.

What do you do when you feel unfocused or overwhelmed?

I listen to my favorite music, and sometimes I go to the cemetery and read the gravestone and that gives you the understanding of life.

I’m a huge fan of mentorship throughout one’s career — None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Who has been your biggest mentor? What was the most valuable lesson you learned from them?

My most prominent mentor was my father who taught me to be patient, work hard and try not to expect too much.

What resources did you use (Blogs, webinars, conferences, coaching, etc.) that helped jumpstart you in the beginning of your business?

When I started my practice in 1984 the internet was not used as it is being used now, so word of mouth built my practice and it almost took 10 years.

What’s the worst piece of advice or recommendation you’ve ever received? Can you share a story about that?

Someone once told me that look at the patient as your enemy and try to protect yourself and I find that absolutely crazy.

Please recommend one book that’s made the biggest impact on you.

The Celestine Prophecy

Where can our readers follow you on social media?



Authority Magazine Snapshots: Dr. Farrokh Shafaie was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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