At Harris Bricken, we keep close tabs on what is happening around the world, and we know that our friends and clients do, as well. We are happy to provide this podcast series: Global Law and Business, hosted by international attorneys Fred Rocafort and Jonathan Bench, where we look at the world by talking with business leaders, innovators, service providers, manufacturers, and government leaders around the globe.

In Episode #98, we are joined by Dr. Jerry Chidester, board-certified plastic surgeon. We discuss:

  • Jerry’s formative years growing up in Saudi Arabia on a hospital compound during the Persian Gulf War.
  • Reasons people come to him as a physician and surgeon.
  • Medical necessity vs. beauty standards.
  • Contemporary visions of beauty becoming a multicultural and multiracial blend.
  • Trends in the plastic surgery world, including non-invasive or minimally-invasive procedures, rapid recovery, and substitutions for traditional surgeries.
  • Building his medical practice with social media and becoming a thought leader and influencer within the plastic/cosmetic surgeon community.
  • How social media influencers have impacted the plastic surgery industry, including providing additional educational opportunities for potential patients.
  • International rhinoplasty experts in Colombia, Turkey, Italy, Australia, and Asia.
  • Changing cultural acceptance standards in conservative countries like Saudi Arabia.
  • Recommendations from:

We’ll see you next time for another exciting and informative episode when we sit down with Jack Hedge, the Executive Director of Utah Inland Port Authority.

This podcast audio has been transcribed by an automatic transcriber.

Fred Rocafort  00:07

Global law and global business go hand in hand, but never seem to keep pace with each other. The importance and the global stage of developing and developed nations waxes and wanes, while consumption and interconnectedness steadily increase all the while laws and regulations change incessantly requiring businesses to stay nimble. But how do we make sense of it all? Welcome to Global Law and Business hosted by Harris Bricken International Business attorneys. I’m Fred Rocafort.


Jonathan Bench  00:37

And I’m Jonathan Bench. Every week, we take a targeted look at legal and economic developments in locales around the world as we try to decipher global trends in law and business with the help of international experts. We cover continents, countries, regimes, governance, finance, legal developments, and whatever is trending on Twitter. We covered the important the seemingly unimportant, the relatively simple and the complex.


Fred Rocafort  01:02

We hope you enjoyed today’s podcast. please connect with us on social media to comment and suggest future topics and guests.


Jonathan Bench  01:20

Dr. Jerry Chidester or Dr. Chiddy as he is also known on social media is a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon who also specializes in hand surgery. His practice is located in Draper, Utah. Additionally, he has also pioneered new techniques for difficult upper extremity and hand cases and has presented on his research. As a compassionate and LGBTQ friendly physician. Dr. Chiddy is also proud to perform some of the most complex procedures including gender reaffirmation surgery. Dr. Chiddy, welcome to Global Law and Business.


Jerry Chidester  01:50

Thanks, thanks so much for having me today.


Jonathan Bench  01:53

So we’d love to hear first a little bit about your personal and professional background. We always love the story behind the story.


Jerry Chidester  02:01

Yeah, so definitely my personal and my professional are so tied together. And it really honestly, for me goes back to my upbringing. Strangely enough, I grew up overseas in Saudi Arabia. My dad is a general dentist, and he took a job over there with a royal family. I was about seven years old when we moved there. And I grew up on a hospital compound, literally a compound wall surrounding it, and a big mountain behind our apartment building. And so for me, going to school in an international school there and just living on a hospital compound, like I was just surrounded by medicine, even at that young age. All my friend’s parents were all doctors, cardiologists, neurosurgeons. And that was just the environment I grew up in. I was there during the Gulf War through the Persian Gulf War. And I met a lot of like wounded soldiers and stuff at the hospital and I was there. So these are like really vivid memories for me when I was young. And when I moved back here to Utah, where my dad’s from, I started attending, you know, middle school and high school here. Always it was ingrained in me that I was just going to become a doctor. And I think with my mom, she’s from Thailand, you know, it’s a very cultural thing where it’s like, you know, you have to do your best in school and become a professional whatever. But my parents never really pushed me to become a doctor per se. But in my mind, I always thought that’s just what I wanted to become. And in high school, where I met my wife, Mindy. So we’re, I guess, technically high school sweethearts. She always reminds me that even when she first met me, I had told her I wanted to be a doctor, specifically a heart surgeon. So I took a couple years break from schooling after I graduated from high school in South Jordan, Utah. I went on a proselytizing mission for my church. And when I got home, I just realized, like, man, the the ability to do something as a career, that could serve people in a way that can help them physically was just like, cemented in my mind. So I just like full bore, you know, pursued a career in medicine and I went to the University of Utah, did an undergraduate degree there, and I stayed there for four more years through medical school. But I will tell you at that time, my whole goal again was to be a heart surgeon. I wanted to be a cardiothoracic surgeon. The intensity of everything just really appealed to me. But as I got halfway through medical school, I realized, oh, no, this is not what I want to do, is one of those moments where I came home one day and I told my wife Mindy, I said, I don’t want to be a heart surgeon anymore. Just the rigorous the hours and everything they put into it was not something that that was really appealing to me anymore. And the speciality itself had been changing. And so in my mind I thought, you know, what, something I think I’d be honestly quite bored with. And so I was at this moment in school, I had no idea what I wanted to do. And I attended this career fair day at the medical school. And I literally went to every table. I talked to the emergency medicine doctors, I talked to anesthesia physicians, I talked to the family medicine, I was talking everybody and I went to the plastic surgery table. And granted and mind you, I did not know anything about plastic surgery at the time, I literally thought all plastic surgeons did was breast augmentations and nose jobs. And the first thing the plastic surgeon says to us is plastic surgery is not all about breast augmentation and nose jobs. And that’s so funny because that was what I always thought. So she really piqued my interest. And she then tells us, you know, plastic surgery is literally a head to toe specialty. We do, you know, cleft lip, cleft palate in kids, we had operate on young babies all the way up to you know, adults, even into their 90s. And whatever age, we operate on patients who need reconstruction from cancer, we do hand surgery, we do acetic surgery, and my mind was just blown like wide open. And I remember I went home that day, I told my wife, I’m like, I think I find what I want to do like I would never be bored of this specialty. So I switched all my rotations in medical school. And it was history from then on out. That’s when I knew I wanted to become a plastic surgeon.


Fred Rocafort  06:14

So far, you’ve given us an overview of just how broad the kind of work that a plastic surgeon would see, just how broad that would that would be. I’m interested in hearing a little bit more about this from but from a personal standpoint, I imagine that in the course of your work here, you really do see a very broad cross section of people with very different needs and desires. I’m wondering if perhaps you could single out one or two patients obviously maintaining confidentiality, but if you could perhaps highlight some of the more interesting situations you’ve encountered, and then perhaps use those as illustrations of the kind of work you do. And more specifically, how perhaps those those stereotypes that people might have about the profession are not altogether accurate?


Jerry Chidester  07:22

Yeah, no, that’s great question. So I guess two things that come to the top of my mind. One would be what I do on a daily basis. So currently, my practice is mainly operating on healthy women who have had multiple children. I’m in, you know, Utah, Salt Lake City area, where families have a lot of children and women have multiple children. And after having so many kids, there is such a physical change, almost permanent, honestly to the body after having so many children. And for me, I think one of the stigmas that’s out there is like, well, you know, women are told, you can just exercise that you can prove your abs strength by doing exercises. Or you can lose that, that extra skin and fat by doing more exercises or dieting. And I will tell you, that is absolutely true. And that’s completely opposite of what’s going on. And so women, many women have heard this, and they’re just afraid to even approach anyone about it. And they don’t even know that there’s surgery and things available to correct it. So for example, today was my clinic day and I saw many patients who, at this point have been more educated understand that there are things that can be done. But functionally for a woman after having had many kids, you know, the rectus abdominus muscles, the six pack muscles just get separated, and they’re so separated, that there’s no physical therapy, there’s no exercises that can bring that back together. And let alone stretch marks of the skin or scarred fat that will always be there. And the one thing I advise women is look, just like you have stretch marks on the outside of your skin on your abdomen after having kids, the fat that lies underneath that looks the same. You just can’t see it. It’s scarred. And I tell them that you’re never going to exercise away scar tissue just like you can’t exercise scar fat. And so and then when we check a woman’s muscle separation, and I say look, there’s no way you’re going to get your core back together on your own as much as you’ve been trying hard. It’s almost an aha moment for women. And then after undergoing what we call an abdominal plasti, which is surgical removal of skin, scarred fat and then repairing that diastasis recti and bringing the muscles back together. Women see such an improvement functionally. Obviously there is an aesthetic change, you know in a tummy tuck where it looks flatter, but honestly bringing the core back together. And even a woman I saw today she’s about nine months out from her tummy tuck surgery and her breast reduction because her breasts are so large you know she just started crying to me. She said, I know this sounds ridiculous, but you’ve like really changed my life. Like you’ve done things for me that I’ve been trying to do for over a decade since having kids and I could not do it on my own. And so for me, that’s been so rewarding to see that. And that’s such a stigma, I think that’s out there is that women can overcome this on their own, but they really can’t. And I think once they’ve learned that and see that it does take some help, you know, I’m just a small step. For us as plastic surgeons, we’re just a small piece of their journey, you know, but to be a part of that, to me is huge. And it just, it’s sad to me that sometimes women feel ashamed that they can’t see anybody about them. Now, something just converse to this completely opposite would be when I take hand trauma or hand call, you know, there’s also stigma plastic surgeons that we just do authentic surgery. I don’t do as much now. But I take a lot of hand trauma, and I have patients coming in who have abused whether it’s IV drugs or other types of injections, and they get, you know, flesh eating bacteria. So as plastic surgeons, you don’t think of a plastic surgeon as someone who’s saving someone’s life or limb. But in reality, you know, people end up with this flesh eating bacteria, I’ve had to amputate arms, even up to the level of the shoulder to save a person’s life. Because the infection once it spreads onto the chest, there’s like a 90% or plus mortality. And so I’ve had to do that. And so for me, as a plastic surgeon, I don’t think of myself as a life saving surgeon. But it is as plastic surgeons, we do have that opportunity once in a while to help save a life.


Jonathan Bench  11:15

It’s fascinating, I love the backstory and love the practical application, and certainly helping us peek more behind the curtain than we otherwise would. Well, let’s talk about the concept of medical necessity versus beauty. I’m sure this is something that’s hotly debated in medical school, it’s hotly debated in the world, in certainly within the U.S., you know, we have richer countries that can do more elective surgeries. Talk to us a little bit about how this is bantered around in the circles where you travel.


Jerry Chidester  11:42

Yeah, I think even amongst plastic surgeons within the United States, there’s definitely you know, I don’t know if it’s controversy, but there’s definitely a discussion, right, because we talk about medical necessity. A lot of times medical necessity equates to a lot of insurance companies seeing these things, because they’re considered necessary to be covered under insurance. So for a lot of patients, something that’s medically necessary should be covered. If they’re paying for insurance, that’s something they feel that should be covered. So even amongst plastic surgeons, we debate, you know, well, I think for breast reconstruction, we know that after cancer, that’s considered a medical necessity. But there even are some people that argue something like an abdominal plasti for a woman who functionally has issues, even just day to day with back pain, or stress incontinence, or pelvic floor pain, all these things. It’s not seen as medically necessary to repair it, you know, these are all things that maybe resulted from having children, but it’s not considered medically necessary. There are some very few, but there are some insurance companies that do look at these as medically necessary and will cover this procedure. But it is definitely not a universal thing that’s covered in the United States currently. So that’s if you look at things that are considered more aesthetic in nature, you know, if you’re again, doing a tummy tuck, people think, well, functionally, yeah, there’s an improvement, but it’s more of an aesthetic procedure. So that I think will always be a debate. You know, when you look at things like breast reduction for women or men with male breast tissue gynecomastia. So for a woman who has neck and back pain, there are insurances that will cover these things, consider them medically necessary, but there’s a big concern many times because insurance companies and not plastic surgeons or other physicians may dictate how much breast tissue needs to be removed. There are different charts and graphs we have to use, we measure the patient’s height weight, we send that to the insurance company and they say, well, you have to take off x number of grams to be considered covered and medically necessary. I know firsthand, in some patients, when I’ve told them how much I have to remove, I tell them, you’re gonna have pretty much no breast tissue remaining. And so some patients don’t want that. And so then becomes well, they’re saying, well now becomes a beauty or an aesthetic thing, when really it’s functional. So there is this kind of gray area where insurance companies will maybe cover a procedure but then they dictate you know how much and what we have to do, which is very frustrating at times.


Fred Rocafort  14:07

Jerry, I’d like to sort of widen the lens here a little bit. Obviously, you’ve given us an overview of what you’re you’re seeing in Utah, but I’m interested also in the the international aspects of your industry. You’ve said that in a quote, contemporary visions of beauty have become a multicultural and multiracial blend and quote, what makes you say this, what changes have you seen perhaps over time, that have taken us to where to where we are nowadays?


Jerry Chidester  14:45

Yeah, so even for me in my short career so far, I’ve seen an explosion of a couple of things and it’s all related to social media. So I think you know, even when I started training, I remember I opened those two brands new Instagram accounts, and Instagram back then I used mainly just to filter my photos to post on Facebook. But then we’ve seen how Instagram has truly become worldwide and you bring in other applications on your phone like Tik Tok, you know, YouTube, and all these social media platforms that really have combined, in essence, a lot of different cultures. And so when I talk about this kind of combined vision, or this combined vision of beauty, we’re kind of seeing this blend. So you know, we talk about something like say, the Brazilian Butt Lift, you know, that’s a augmentation of the buttocks using one’s own fat with liposuction and contouring. Well, that’s taking aesthetics from South America, obviously, Brazil, where there’s a certain contour and shape that’s preferred. And then that’s been translated to a look here in the United States, which has been very, very desired and sought after. And then you have people we call influencers on social media, for example, the Kardashians, who have also adopted these similar visions of beauty, and have applied them to their own lives. And then people here like to emulate that. I would even say you look at places like Asia, so like South Korea, for example, Japan, and these other places where even their visions of beauty have blended into what we see today in terms of aesthetics of human face. And so I think a lot of this has been made possible because of the globalization and the networking that’s done on social media. And I see that my own practice, I see people coming in that are, you know, showing me photos of patients who aren’t even in this country, I’ve had patients come in and say, hey, I want these breast implants. And you know, we don’t offer them in the US they are not FDA approved, because the patients in Australia. And so we definitely see this blend, and I see that how it has affected my practice. Even the last three years, I’ve seen an explosion of this in my own practice. And I think we’ll continue to see those changes. And I think it’s wonderful, because, you know, you have different cultures and people with different ideas that have kind of brought this together. And I think it’s fascinating, and it’s really fun, I think, for patients, as well.


Jonathan Bench  17:13

So I’m always curious about the thought leaders in this right, I mean, you probably got thought leaders on the medical side. And then like you said, we have the popular culture influence as well. What are some trends that we should be paying attention to something that you know, I don’t follow the beauty industry that much. But if you’re looking back, let’s say the last 10 years plus, what are some of the trends that you’ve seen happen? And I know social media has accelerated this, but can you speak generally about those trends?


Jerry Chidester  17:44

Yeah, for sure. So I think one trend that’s definitely picking up and taking off and is going to continue to affect the aesthetic market, both here and across the world is non invasive or minimally invasive procedures, right, because we look at how we function today. In general, we are all running around, everyone’s busy. You know, the pace of today is so different. I think that’s reflective on you know, seven second Vine videos, and 50 second Tik Toks. Everything we do now is just so fast paced, and our attention spans are shorter. And this relates to wanting procedures in plastic surgery that have minimal downtime. And so there’s definitely a trend even if you look at surgical procedures of you know, quote unquote, rapid recovery or flash augmentation recovery. There’s all these different trademarks and terms that people use to say, hey, you’re going to come in, have surgery even and be done and ready to get back to your normal life within a couple of days. Whether that’s true or not, I can’t speak to that specifically. But there was definitely a trend of promoting minimally invasive things. Whether that’s to the face you look at how the acetic facial filler and botulinum toxin market has taken off. People wanting lasers resurfacing, there’s micro needling, there’s radio frequency, and there’s just so many non or minimally invasive procedures available out there that are done through medical spas or plastic surgery offices. And people are paying attention to these things and wanting them done. And I definitely see that continue to grow. I think it will continue to expand. And we see these trends. I don’t think it’s changing anytime soon. I think other things that people are looking forward to is, you know, currently breast implants are a big thing. But we are now like I do a lot more of using one’s own tissue to augment the breast so we call fat grafting to the breast. And you know, I see someday in the future having different materials that are able to be potentially injected that are safe, that can maybe substitute an implant or other things that can create structure in the breast without needing a silicone or silk implant.


Jonathan Bench  19:56

Now I know that you have said social media has rebuilt your practice can you explain what you mean by that and give us a little timeline for what happened? I know this was somewhat COVID impacted, but that’s only because I know you on a personal level. So fill everyone else in on on what happened pre-COVID and during COVID to your practice.


Jerry Chidester  20:14

Yeah, so I finished my hand upper extremity fellowship training at USC in 2018. So I finished my plastic surgery residency a year prior to that, went to USC for a year, and then decided to come back to Utah. That was not my original plan. We thought about staying in Southern California, we loved it. But one thing led to another we ended up back in Utah, I joined a practice that had a medical spa was a full service, you know, medical clinic, surgical center. And for me, that was the beginning. You know, I was starting my own practice, I was trying to become board certified. And that was my initial, you know, venture into business. I had my own LLC, Chidester MD LLC, and things started happening. But my social media was just beginning. For me, I didn’t even know how to do a story on Instagram, my wife had to show me how to do that. And so it was so awkward. I remember trying to use social media, just to talk to myself on my phone, I thought it was the weirdest thing. And this is, you know, barely three years ago. So that practice, I learned a lot. But I kind of shifted my focus. And because of other reasons, I ended up leaving there and starting my own business. So I started Jerry Chidester, MD in January of 2020. So if you look at the timeline, that’s two months before COVID really hits, at least Utah, I know it hit other places sooner than that. But at the time, I was very naive. And we were growing, we’re actually growing pretty well, social media had been using it at that point for about a year and a half. And I was seeing the fruits of my labors, I was having more referrals and people come in. And a lot of those patients then follow me because they saw my Instagram. And it was right around that time, I thought, hey, this is great. And then we’re going to have a grand opening, then COVID hit and hit hard. You know, everyone across the United States, we had to shut down we cannot operate do elective surgery because there was lack of you know, PPE or medical equipment. And we just didn’t know what was going to happen. So I actually volunteered and stopped my cases prior to being told to do that just we felt it was the right thing to do. But we knew at that point, like, you know, we’re a brand new practice, we are living month to month at this point. And we didn’t know if we’d survive, but I made. So it was out of almost desperation that we said, hey, let’s apply for you know, some type of PPP loan. And thank heavens we received that. And I talked to my employees, our small staff of six people, I said, look, I know we can’t see patients in person, but we can do virtual consults. People still want to have surgery, we just can’t do it right now. So we took a huge risk, we continue to pay our staff and we did virtual consults. So through our HIPAA compliant software, we did that. And we continue to see patients and we said, hey, we don’t know when you’re gonna have surgery, but we’re more than happy to get everything ready. So we were shut down for about six weeks. And during that time, we decided to still do a grand opening because it was right when we were planning on it. We say let’s do a virtual grand opening. And it was amazing the turnout through social media and our outlets there. We had 50 patients book surgery on that one day. And you know, I did 50 surgeries in like 12 months. So my first started so we booked 50 patients in one day. And so we just thought, wow, there is something special about this. And so when we came back in May we just hit the ground running, a lot of practices had shut down completely furloughed, their staff, and many of their staff never came back. But because we had kept our staff kept paying them. We just we didn’t stop. And I feel like it definitely kept us open as a practice. But it really just catapulted us to this new level. And I would say it has not. It’s not slowed down at all. It’s gotten worse.


Jonathan Bench  23:56

I think I remember you saying that on first or second week of January in 2022, that you already had all of your days booked in surgery for the entire year.


Jerry Chidester  24:08

Yes, so I operate anywhere from four to even six days a week. So my surgery days usually start around 6:30am usually end around 6pm. So it’s a good 12 hour day. So each of those days, we’re operating pretty much nonstop. And yeah, my stuff’s wonderful, every one of those days was booked for this year, even in 2023. So yeah, it’s you know, it’s a problem, though, that it’s a problem, right? So even though it’s it’s a blessing, I also look at it as it’s a problem. If I was a restaurant and I had a you know, 14 hour wait, I’m sorry, but people probably gonna want to go eat somewhere else. They’re going to be hungry. So recently we brought on this wonderful associates, partner, Dr. Jared Garlick. You know, we’re looking to continue to expand because the demand is there and he’s been here, five, six months now since last August. And he’s almost booked out a year. And he just started. And so I really see the power of not just social media, but I think culturally, building foundations for practice, in a business where everyone is on the same page, everyone has the same goals in mind. And that synergy is something I think that has just really helped explode our practice.


Jonathan Bench  25:30

I remember reading an article where you were talking about a surgeon in maybe Argentina, can you talk a little bit about some of the key influencers on a global stage? You know, probably within your industry? Is this doctor one of the foremost voices? Are there others in Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, that are also contributing?


Jerry Chidester  25:52

Yeah, definitely. So for sure, Dr. Hoyos in Colombia, actually, he’s a well known world renowned, high definition, we call it, you know, lip countouring specialist, neat as everything plastic surgery, but you know, his ability to really contour and almost sculpt the body on a level that’s just phenomenal. It’s a, you know, something that’s inspiring to me, but there are surgeons all over the world, you know, in Turkey. And in Italy, there’s these rhinoplasty experts that do things that even for me, just blow my mind. I’ll get Australia mentioned earlier, there are surgeons there who are doing things in breast surgery, and advancing our field of specialty there. And literally all over the world, again, Asia. So it really is a world specialty. And it’s such a small community. I mean, even though, you know, it’s worldwide plastic surgeons, you know, we’re a small group, we know each other, especially locally in your time. And I think there’s like 70, around 70, board certified plastic surgeons here, we have one of the highest per capita in the United States, plastic surgeons per capita. And it’s been that way for a long time. But even then, we all know each other and know of each other. And that’s just how I think our community is.


Fred Rocafort  27:08

Jerry, I’m curious about the dynamics that lead patients from out of state or even other countries, as the case may be choosing to to go to you. I mean, obviously, that that speaks very well, of course, if your reputation I mean, 70 in Utah might might seem small, depending on how you look at it, but at the same time, what it makes me think is that, well, clearly, there’s plastic surgeons elsewhere, you know, at least, I’m going to go out on a limb and say there’s one in every state at least, yet you have patients that decide that they’re going to depending on where they are across state lines, or maybe even fly across the country to go to you. I’m interested in hearing a little bit more about that. I imagine that the social media presence plays a role in that. But how is it? How is it that that you get these clients that are coming in from elsewhere? Because again, it’s one thing, of course to evaluate right to the extent that you can, how one plastic surgeon performs versus another but but still psychologically right? For someone to say, Okay, I am here in Florida, I’m here in California, here in Texas, but this is where I need to go. Even though there might from a numerical perspective, there might be more people in my state. How does that happen? I mean, I’d be curious to hear about maybe some of the things that that some of your out of state patients have said as to why they decided that this is the way they want it to go. Do referrals play a big role in this?


Jerry Chidester  28:49

Yeah, it’s a great question. I actually asked myself that all the time. Like, why would anybody come to me, you know, let alone someone that doesn’t live in the immediate vicinity or lives out of state or out of country? Because we’ve had all the above? I do think for one, like, I think you brought it up briefly, social media, really is, like I said, it’s really kind of brought the global scale down to a level where it’s right in front of you. And so, people are doing their own research. You know, many people are very hesitant to even talk to a plastic surgeon and do anything and so they’re doing research online, they’re looking at website websites for years, you know, looking at photos and web pages, but really, I think social media has allowed plastic surgeons across the country and the globe for one showcase their work. Two, as much as possible is something I’ve tried to do be personable and demonstrate who they are not just a professional but as a human being. And three, you know, testimonials of other patients and as well as stuff that like even me as a surgeon, I can’t control if patients are posting about their recoveries. I try to repost everything because whether it’s you know, good bad anything in between, I want people to know, like, this is not perfect. And I think that’s one thing that patients are brought up is that when they come in like today, I saw a few patients from out of state. Some are virtual, you know, like you mentioned that it’s hard to get a full assessment via virtual rehab, we have a protocol that they send in photos, we take their full health history, I interview them, and then whenever they come in, I see them in person again, so we kind of repeat the process in person when they’re here. But with that being said, they’ve all said that, you know, I feel like I already know you, I feel like I know your staff. And I’ve had all my questions answered by you. And so the time we spend together is very meaningful, we’re actually interviewing each other. And this is a two way street, as much as they’re interviewing me, I want to make sure they’re a fit candidate for surgery. And for my out of state, out of country patients, I have to be very strict on that. Because I don’t want to do anything where they’re going to go home and be at high risk for something and I can’t take care of it. And so, yes, there’s definitely times where I’ll even say, you know what, I don’t think it’s safe. Let me refer you to someone local to you. But for the patients that we deem are safe, candidates who are reasonable in terms of the surgery they want to do, are able to stay the given amount of time. And if somebody does not require a stay in town, two to four weeks, depending on what they’re doing, and how far they’re traveling. But because of social media, I think they’ve been able to research hundreds and hundreds of doctors. And you know, unfortunately, not all doctors are online and able to do that. But I would say more and more are now trying to showcase their work. But it allows patients to really filter through what they want. And not just that, but find the personality of the person of the surgeon that they they want and people are willing to travel anywhere for that. Because plastic surgery is an experience. It’s not just the surgery itself. It’s what happens before. It’s what happens during what happens after and for the rest of your life. This is a permanent change. This isn’t walking into a car dealership, and spontaneously buying a Mustang or something this is you know, you’re going in, you’re trusting someone to put you to sleep, essentially cut and reshape your body into a form that you’re going to hopefully be happy with. And so that’s why I think this works because people feel like they trust you. And they feel like they trust me, they trust our staff. And yeah, I think it’s been wonderful for our practice. We’ve continued to learn and grow on I think what works for out of state out of country patients, what doesn’t, but we’ve had wonderful success with it. Our patients have been happy. And but we’re always looking for ways to improve that for everyone.


Fred Rocafort  32:33

So we talked about this a little bit earlier, when you discussed some of the hotbeds, if you will for plastic surgery around the world, or maybe more accurately, places that that are trendsetters to the extent that you’re able to do so what are some of the attitudes worldwide that people have? Or it’s difficult to generalize? Right, I’m sure that there’s a variety of opinions. But from what you see from your conversations with colleagues, from what you see on social media and elsewhere, do you see that there are, in general terms, different attitudes? So for example, this is just a hunch, right? That in a place like Brazil or Colombia, there is more acceptance, perhaps. But maybe in other countries, there are interesting takes that people have, right? You mentioned Turkey, and that got me thinking I mean, Turkey seems to me to be a somewhat more traditional country, although of course, it’s also a very diverse country, but it did stand out. So have you been able to, to experience or to or to discern these different attitudes, depending on on where a person comes from what part of the world are from?


Jerry Chidester  33:57

Definitely. And I would even say, if you wanted to bring it to the level of the United States, I think even with the U.S., there’s, you know, pockets in areas that are both hotspots, trendsetters, like you’re talking about, but also that are very conservative. And I would actually say Utah, where I’m at, is one of those very conservative places. But I’ve seen something happen here, even the last, three years that I’ve been here, a shift and a change. Moreso of I think, and I think a lot of it has to do with social media, and education as something that I personally, that’s my goal to educate just not just my community, but you know, the nation and the world, on what we do as plastic surgeons and the benefits that it has not just aesthetically but functionally, and you know, mentally and emotionally for patients. And so I’ve seen a change here and even in Utah in Salt Lake County in the last several years of more of an acceptance, more of being open about it and talking about it, and trying to break down the stigmas of what it does for men and women. And I’ve seen that change here even just locally. But I would say definitely worldwide, when you look at countries, again, I grew up in Saudi Arabia, very, very different culture, much more conservative. And even these places are changing. You know, when I lived there, women were not allowed to drive. You know, my sisters, when they hit, you know, 12, that age, they had to cover their hair cover their faces, my mother always had to go out and buy a cover up where you know, wear a scarf to cover her hair. But these things are changing. I’ve talked to friends who are over there. And, you know, women are driving now in Saudi Arabia, and they’re not even have to cover up. And so there’s this acceptance of being able to display your personal looks and your features. And this also has led to more plastic surgery. I know this because I get emails and texts a lot about trying to go to Dubai, UAE, to go do plastic surgery over there for local people. So I definitely say there’s a change worldwide. Now we see in Southeast Asia, there’s definitely a cultural thing there as well. But in Korea, in South Korea, it’s definitely a very big and popular thing to do. They’re plastic surgery. And so it’s really fascinating for me to see my own career and specialty change throughout the globe. And even just locally, something I never thought would see change this quickly.


Jonathan Bench  36:19

Jerry, it’s been a lot of fun to talk to you today. And we’re coming up on our time. So we like to close by asking you for any recommendations you have. If you have any guests who you think would be great, great to come on the show, we’d love to hear that. But also anything you’ve read or watched recently, or listened to that you think would be beneficial either on point with a topic today or anything that might just be fun for the audience to hear.


Jerry Chidester  36:40

Yeah, so I think someone who I’ve actually personally worked with closely, he’s one of my good friends. I’ve known him since high school. His name is Lieutenant Colonel Tyler Mitchell. He’s currently army he’s out currently in Italy, he and I run a consulting agency together to help other professionals build practices, but he is someone that actually helped me initially grow my practice. So back in January of 2020, you know, I started talking with him about my business, and he has a lot of leadership, training and backgrounds and his degrees and all that. So he helped me establish a lot of my foundations for my practice. And because of that, I feel like we were better trained. We actually, I just found out yesterday, but our business won best employer of Salt Lake City, so best of SLC best employer, and best for leadership. We are in the top three for best employer and then best for leadership. And I feel that really has to do with Tyler Mitchell and everything. He’s kind of taught each of our staff, I think he’s a fascinating person to talk to, he has a lot of knowledge. And he’s helped a lot of our staff not even in just leadership and in business, but also just personally, he’s met with me on a personal level to help me plan on my life. My wife, and several of my friends and it’s really cool to see when people set goals and put your mind to it. It really is amazing what what we’re capable of as humans, I think he’d be a fascinating person to talk to. Things I’ve been reading lately, I’ve actually you know, I downloaded this app called Blinkist. Because my time is so minimal. I’m either in surgery or on Instagram. But I’ve wanted to expand my knowledge both in things you know, crypto, everything from cryptocurrency to artificial intelligence, and honestly, the Blinkist app has been wonderful. I’d recommend to anyone you do have to have a subscription, but they really break it down into like these 10 or 15 minute kind of your audible reads or you can read it quickly. And it’s been a fascinating for way for me to learn more about different topics like I said, those areas that I’m interested in, so definitely look for lasting I’d recommend people watch. You do not have to be a Star Wars nerd but kind of I’ve always loved Star Wars. I’ve been watching the book of Boba Fett on Disney+, it is absolutely amazing. I’ve enjoyed it if you like the Mandalorian definitely watch that. That’s something I like to binge watch when I’m flying around the country doing different trainings and things and so that’s one thing I definitely recommend people to watch.


Jonathan Bench  39:09

Excellent. Thanks for the recommendations. Fred, what do you have for us today?


Fred Rocafort  39:14

My recommendation today is a little different and specialized. So apologies for everyone for whom it’s not useful. Ass soccer fans will know we are in the middle of an international break which means that the action in the main European leagues is stopped. And that’s a problem for many of us as we have to turn our attention to the international game, meaning the games between between national teams and some of the lesser known leagues that that continue to play but I have enjoyed over the last week or so. So I have enjoyed watching the Canadian team, the Canadian men’s team. The story really in the qualifying region to which the United States belongs, they beat the U.S. last Sunday. Very well, obviously, if you’re looking at it from the perspective of a U.S. supporter, it wasn’t such a great game but but objectively speaking, Canada just just really did well. So I this was really my first opportunity. These two most recent games were the first chance I had to watch this, this new iteration of the Canadian team, and they’re the real deal. And they’re exciting. So if you are a soccer fan, and they have not seen any of their other recent games, I recommend you do. They’re they’re an exciting team. And we’ll be it’ll be really interesting to see how they do at the World Cup when they have to face tougher opposition from Europe and South America. But yeah, so the Canadian Men’s National Team. What about you, Jonathan?


Jonathan Bench  41:17

So I’m taking it in a really weird direction. Although Fred for you, I mean, China’s never far from our thoughts. So this is an article from the South China Morning Post called China Murder Mystery Games. Shanghai moves to regulate booming script killing industry with ban on violent, horrific and pornographic content. So the backstory to this is in Shanghai, there are more than 1000 venues where people play these murder, mystery games, and 30,000 around the country. And of course, anytime you know, how big brother is in China, they love to look and criticize, you know, bureaucrats have to keep their jobs one way or another. Right. So they’ve been highly critical of the industry, but haven’t provided any evidence other than we don’t think you should be wasting your time doing this and, and pretending like you’re engaging in the sim world behavior. So it’s, for me, it’s a funny insight into China, right? I mean, a lot of times we get stuck at the headlines with what is the Communist Party doing now? How is it grinding the mill or the billion people in China under its boot. But in reality, there is a lot of flavor in China that a lot of people who are exerting their own freewill, they’re, you know, they may not be as free as some of the West may think they need to be but at the same time, you know, they’re not just in mouse suits wandering around, you know, eating a bowl of plain rice, right. I mean, they’re really enjoying their lives. And so it’s a lot of fun for me to read these, these cultural insight pieces and see what’s really happening on the ground in China. So that’s my recommendation, South China Morning Post, and I’ll include the link on the blog post. With that, Jerry, I want to thank you for spending time with us out of your busy schedule. It’s been certainly fun to be educated. And I know that our audience is going to enjoy listening to this as well.


Jerry Chidester  42:55

Thank you both for having me on here on it’s had a great time. Wonderful questions. Yeah, I really appreciate it.


Fred Rocafort  43:01

Thank you so much.


Jonathan Bench  43:04

We hope you enjoyed this week’s episode. We look forward to connecting with you on social media to continue discussing developments in Global Law and Business. This podcast was produced by Harris Bricken music composed by Steven Schmidt. Tune in next week for another episode. We’ll see you then.

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