As a part of my interview series with prominent medical professionals about “How To Grow Your Private Practice” I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. John Layke and Dr. Payman Danielpour.
Dr. John Layke and Dr. Payman Danielpour are plastic surgeons, co-founders of the Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery Group and Beverly Hills MD, a cutting-edge skincare line that blends cutting edge dermal technology and natural skin care ingredients to offer real cosmetic results using non-surgical anti-aging solutions. Dr. Layke specializes in rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery and facelift procedures, and Dr. Danielpour specializes in body and breast procedures. The two doctors have been on the forefront of plastic surgery and cosmetic technology for nearly a decade and work jointly on each patient, which allows for more procedures per session and increased safety and efficiency. As top cosmetic surgeons based in Beverly Hills, the pair boast a diverse clientele that also includes celebrities and reality TV stars.
Definitely! Dr. Danielpour and I became friends approximately 13 years ago when we kept seeing each other on the “interview trail” for plastic surgery residency. We eventually were accepted to the same residency program, became roommates, and ultimately, best friends. Being a native of Wisconsin, I was planning on heading back to the Midwest (Chicago), where I had completed my general surgery residency. Dr. Danielpour, a Beverly Hills native, offered a much more appealing option, and that was to start a practice together in the heart of sunny Beverly Hills! I gladly accepted the offer and never looked back. We now have a thriving practice in the “Golden Triangle” of Beverly Hills, a well-sought after area that houses many prominent plastic surgeons.
We trained in a hospital system with one of the oldest, and largest, private practices in the country. This allowed us to see both aspects of plastic surgery — hospital-based, as well as private practice. We chose to be our own bosses and hustled to build what we currently have.
Great question! Doctors are notoriously bad when it comes to being business-minded. We made several mistakes along the way, but continued to learn the “art” of business. I am the one who pushes to be “cutting edge” and buy all of the new tech that comes our way, and Dr. Danielpour evaluates the finances and ROI potential and we come to a mutual agreement. It’s a great balance.
I think when you start seeing the same mistakes being made over and over, it’s time to pump the brakes and dissect where a problem begins. We fully realize that every successful business needs admin time. As much as we would love to be operating all day long, we also see the benefit of making sure that all of the moving parts are working in concert.
I think residency prepares you for that. Every day you have to be prepared for what lies before you, the physical and mental exhaustion is reality, you’re pushed to the limit by your mentors, and you are expected to retain knowledge and skill at a superhuman rate. The reality is, it is analogous to a boxer training for the biggest fight of his life. By the time you make it there, you have to be ready.
Currently, the majority of our practice is cosmetic surgery, which is a cash business. Unfortunately, insurance companies have ruined medicine. I think as a whole, physicians have come to terms with that reality.
I need physical activity to “reset” my mind, body, etc. I exercise 3 days/week at a high-intensity level. This allows a release that keeps me going. Dr. Danielpour goes on several hikes/week and uses the outdoors to serve as an outlet.
I have several that come to mind but I will narrow it down to two: Vijay Maker, MD, who was my general surgery Residency Chairman. I learned his passion for the field of surgery and he taught me to look at every patient for what they were: human beings. The next is Loren Schechter, MD, who took me “under his wing” when I decided to emulate him in the field of plastic surgery.
Other physicians. We chose to speak to a few successful plastic surgeons in the area who gave us their “pearls.”
The worst piece of advice I’ve ever heard was to find an area in the country that needs you, and then start a practice there. This was advice given at a resident conference by a practice consultant. I firmly believe that you choose the area you’d like to live, and then build your practice there. It makes no sense to make $1M/year in an area that you’re miserable.
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. It’s a colorful, but true, story about a man that lives breaks out of a New Zealand prison, travels to India, and lives in the most poverty-stricken slums to the wealthiest of places, and highlights the ups and downs during each period. It reminds me that no matter where you are, you can see good in anything if you truly put forth the effort.
For other incredible interviews, please check out our podcast: Healthcare Heroes.
A special thanks to Dr. Layke and Dr. Danielpour again! The purpose of this interview series is to highlight the entrepreneurs, innovators, advocates, and providers inside Healthcare. Our hope is to inspire future healthcare providers on the incredible careers that are possible!