Warning for Doctors: Lies and Loss of Reputation

I’m writing a post  for my doctor and clinic-owner readers, who after reading this, will become more wary of who they invite into their clinics. This is an experience which happened in our clinic last year.

The Dermal Filler Training Session

John, who is my husband and practice nurse, was the trainee, in a session for learning how to inject dermal filler. What happens in these training sessions is that the dermal filler supplier sends a representative from their company, usually a nurse injector, to the practice and we arrange a group of models. The training session went well, with nothing out of the ordinary. OR SO WE THOUGHT……………

We move to approximately 6 months later.

One of the models from the session, a lovely patient, who I had been treating for 9 years contacted me. She had been to another clinic, which I thought strange after 9 years of seeing me, but it does happen sometimes. In the email, she sent me a photo of her face with an obvious dermal filler complication and told me that several months ago she went to another injector and ever since has had this unfortunately very obvious aesthetic complication. The other injector has tried to fix it twice already, including using hyalase, unsuccessfully. I have been injecting this patient for so long without any problems, and was surprised by the actual complication, as she had many similar treatments without any problems. I told the patient to come and see me, as I really wanted to assess her and see what we could do to fix her face. This is when she dropped the bomb.

Loss of Reputation

When reviewing the patient to see what we could do about the issue, I took the history. What had happened was that during the training session AT MY CLINIC, the training representative from the filler supplier actively recruited the patient, giving this patient her  private business card for the cosmetic clinic where she works  and telling her to come and see her there. WHOA….. When I was given this information by the patient, I was very depressed. We had trusted:
  1. The dermal filler company to supply honest and ethical representatives to come to our clinic
  2. The trainer herself. How unprofessional and devious.
I thought about reputation for a while and wondered why this trainer would risk this unethical behaviour. What was her motivation? The answer could only be greed or ego. How disappointing… Reputation is basically a predictor of what someone will do in the future, and this trainer has ruined her reputation forever in what is a small industry. Why would the trainer want to make an enemy of me? I guess the reasons may be desperation for patients and because she thought that she wouldn’t get caught.

Was this issue of unprofessional conduct resolved?

Clearly this unethical practitioner is never coming to my clinic to train again, but I thought of my poor colleagues, who are none the wiser. I made a formal complaint to the company who employs this unprofessional and dishonest practitioner. What she did was a clear breach of her contract with the company. The trainer denied that she gave the patient her business card. The patient has no reason to lie, unlike the dishonest trainer. I guess the trainer felt she had to lie. Personally I would have respected her more if she had admitted to the behaviour and apologised. That would have been the first step on the way to repairing her ruined reputation. This trainer  now has a history of recruiting patients during a training session. How would my colleagues feel about this, would they welcome her into their clinic for training sessions if they were aware of this history? Clearly the answer is hell no… The resolution: Unfortunately, I’m so sorry to have to tell my colleagues that this trainer continues to work for the same company, she is regularly coming into your practices, and you don’t know her history until now.

My advice:

Don’t leave reps alone in the room with your patients. Be careful who you invite into your practice. I feel sorry for this nurse’s patients, employers and prescribing doctor. Unethical is unethical. Information is power, I’m happy to share more details of this experience to any doctor or clinic owner who wants more power. See you soon at a conference, colleagues. Love N xxxxx ps My colleagues, while I have your attention: I’m always looking for blog guests, so please speak up, DON’T BE SHY!! The shy ones are often the ones with some beautiful information in their minds to share with our industry. Come and say hello…..

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