|Malcolm D. Paul, MD, FACS|
By Peter Lathe
When Malcolm D. Paul, MD, FACS, is asked about why he decided to perform plastic surgery after medical school, he replies very directly: “It was really because I was interested in a blend of art and science.” Since then, not only has Paul blended the art and science of plastic surgery, he has also blended his long career with teaching, writing, technology, and supporting a new business model for cosmetic surgery practices.
Paul’s interest in science began in college, where he graduated with a degree in psychology at the University of Maryland in College Park. There, he studied the relationship between psychology and body image, and how body image affects behavior. That background stayed with him through medical school at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and his general surgery internship at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
A year later, Paul began his general surgery residency training, also at Mount Sinai, with the intention of becoming a pediatric surgeon. However, his continuing interest in body image and psychology made him reconsider.
He said, “I thought that since I really enjoy surgery and working with my hands, and with my background in psychology and human behavior, I thought plastic surgery was a perfect match of using the background that I had in behavior and the skills I used as a surgeon.”
As a facial cosmetic and plastic surgeon for more than 37 years, Paul’s artistic approach has built a reputation for his anti-aging brow lifts, mid-facial procedures, jawline reconstructions, and neck rejuvenations. He has a genuine concern for his patients, and he appreciates their confidence in his skills and recommendations.
“Everything we do on the face has our signature on it,” Paul says. “Patients put a lot of trust in you to perform anti-aging procedures to reverse the effects of time and gravity in the face. So, I really feel that it’s the highest form of professional compliment to have a person trust their face to you.”
A Teacher on the Cutting Edge
Today, Paul has two office locations. One is a Lifestyle Lift practice location in Beverly Hills, Calif, and a second is located in Newport Beach, Calif. In addition to the private patients, he also uses the Newport office as a base for an academic position at the University of California – Irvine (UCI). There, he serves as the co-director of cosmetic/aesthetic surgery portion for the university’s plastic surgery residency program.
“I’ve always enjoyed interacting with residents,” Paul says. “We learn from each other, and we stimulate each other. We literally stay on the cutting edge of things by being involved with training younger residents as they come through the program.”
He adds that for new and experienced surgeons, one of the biggest challenges they have today is adapting one’s approach to a patient based on ever-changing and more sophisticated technology. In addition, Paul believes that surgeons must be able to provide patients with less expensive and less invasive alternatives to surgery.
“You have to be able to offer both surgical and nonsurgical remedies for our patients for reversing some of the aging effects, whether it’s injectables, surgery, topical products, or having an aesthetician in the office to help patients with skin care. At the same time, you have to adopt new technology and find where that best fits into your practice. We have to tailor what we offer to what they really want.”
Embracing a New Business Model
Beyond offering a mix of medical and surgical choices, Paul has also seen the need for surgeons to be open to new business models that work for the 2012 economy.
From the beginning of his practice, Paul says he never had to advertise and relied solely on word-of-mouth. But along with technology, Paul has realized that the business of medicine was also changing and that practice business models had to change too.
One of the companies he saw at the forefront of changing cosmetic surgery’s business paradigm was Lifestyle Lift, which he recently joined as a consultant and practicing physician.
Asked why he joined the firm after so many years in private practice, Paul explains that the lessons of the business world have made their way to every specialty of medicine except for cosmetic plastic surgery, and now it’s found its way into cosmetic surgery.
“I felt that the Lifestyle Lift solution offered the best business model, and that I could contribute as a consultant and physician because of all of the things I’ve done with my teaching, writing, and innovative procedures. I could bring innovative ideas to the table that they could integrate into their practices nationwide, and they could bring things to me by virtue of how they have employed common business practices to support their physicians.”
For surgeons who join Lifestyle Lift, Paul says they get to benefit from a very busy facial aesthetic practice with really bright businesspeople supporting their physicians and promoting the brand with a national advertising campaign.
Paul sincerely believes in the Lifestyle Lift paradigm. He says that he will continue to become further involved, helping the company integrate new procedures, practice-enhancement tools, new technologies, and promoting the annual national meeting of Lifestyle Lift physicians.
Travel, Technology, and Growth
Outside of Lifestyle Lift, teaching, and his private practice, Paul spends time publishing papers on innovative facial aesthetic surgery and serves as section editor for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Journal. He also enjoys working with medical technology companies, traveling and teaching seminars all over the world.
Malcolm D. Paul, MD, FACS
8484 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 200
Beverly Hills, CA 90211