Dismayed by the mark of the passing years on your face? Wouldn’t you like to find out more about the “QuickLift,” a procedure that “can offer dramatic results in just one day?” How about a “Weekend Facelift?” Maybe a “Lifestyle Lift?” Or how about this new one, the “Band Aid Mini Facelift?”
My background in marketing and medical writing presents me with an occasional internal conflict. I believe that organizations and professionals in the world of medicine should be able to market themselves just like anyone else. I also believe, however, that those in medicine must accept that they have a special responsibility to be completely honest and upfront with the information they present to prospective patients.
You see, the world of medicine is really not like any other. For one thing, the average patient knows just a tiny fraction of what their physician knows about any given condition, disease or procedure. For another thing, whether a patient is battling cancer, undergoing knee replacement or considering a facelift, they’re in a particularly vulnerable state. They may be extra susceptible to overstated hope about the possible results and understated real life impact of the recovery process.
It’s not that the “QuickLift” and other facial procedures with compelling names aren’t valid. It’s just that they have been branded by marketing professionals who know very well that middle-aged women long to look younger without an extended recovery. Women (and men too) may flock to doctors who offer a procedure with a cute name not really understanding that it may address just the neck and jowls. They may like the idea of surgery with minimal recovery and not be aware that their results may be limited.
So what’s all this mean? As we already know, when marketing is applied to the world of medicine, a big gray area results. While there are facial rejuvenation procedures available with catchy names implying fast results, there’s no “quick” route to understanding all the options and no “weekend” solution for choosing the right procedure.