Dr. Robert Shumway is a cosmetic surgeon in La Jolla California.
Name: Robert Alan Shumway, MD, FACS, FAACS
Location: La Jolla, CA
That's interesting: Dr. Shumway has personally performed well over 3,500 TransUmbilical Breast Augmentation (TUBA) procedures and has taught Cosmetic Surgery at UCSD, UCLA and Duke.
What attracted you to a career in cosmetic surgery?
Actually, I got "started" in Cosmetic Surgery on Day Number One because I was lucky enough to be born into a very, "Surgical Family." My late father, Ord 'L' Shumway, MD, FACS was an amazing General and Thoracic Surgeon who touched the lives of many people and who became the First Board Certified Surgeon in the state of Arizona! During my youth, I worked at our local Hemet Valley Hospital in California and followed my father everywhere, including into the Operating Room. We often spoke about Norman E. Shumway, MD, PhD, FACS and his profound accomplishments as the great Cardiac & Heart Transplant Surgeon of Stanford University. Even his daughter, Sarah, became a Cardiac Surgeon!
So, in all honesty, my overall goal in life has always been to perform quality surgery (just like my relatives) and to improve the overall "human condition" and quality of our lives! To me, the specialty of Cosmetic Surgery allows me to achieve this lofty goal! Over time, I have become a leader within the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS), the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS), the American Society of Cosmetic Breast Surgery (ASCBS), the American Society of Liposuction Surgery (ASLS) and the California Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (CACS). I have achieved Board Certification status in no less than Four Medical Boards and I am currently working on a fifth board. In retrospect, these many surgical organizations have greatly helped me develop my own surgical practice brand that is highly specific to the exciting specialty known as "Cosmetic Surgery."
How is your clinic organized and managed?
In 1996, SHUMWAY COSMETIC SURGERY was organized upon the prestigious Scripps Memorial Hospital Campus in La Jolla, California. The Shumway Establishment is fully certified by The Joint Commission and possesses their Gold Seal of Approval. We operate out of our free standing Shumway Surgicenter located on the greater Scripps Campus and perform a full and complete array of highly technical Cosmetic Surgery and LASER procedures. The clinic and surgical practice is run by the Director - Dr. Shumway and the Practice Manager - Katherine Duke Shumway. SHUMWAY COSMETIC SURGERY has performed many thousands of cosmetic operations over the years and presently includes a Facial Plastic Surgeon and a Cosmetic Gynecologist within the premises. Our overall teaching environment and comprehensive surgical practice is currently adding a Cosmetic Surgery Fellowship sponsored through the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS) In addition, the Shumway Organization continues to train other surgeons through its long held Preceptor Course Workshops that are supported by the American Society of Cosmetic Breast Surgery (ASCBS), the American Society of Liposuction Surgery (ASLS) and the California Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (CACS).
What are your staffing management principles?
Staffing at SHUMWAY COSMETIC SURGERY is handled by the Practice Management Team along with direct input from Shumway Employees and Shumway Associates. Employees are placed on salary and are then expected to perform according to specific practice standards and guidelines including frequent personnel progress interviews. SHUMWAY COSMETIC SURGERY believes that high employee salaries with generous benefits and profit sharing plans are the best way to motivate staff and protect our cosmetic patients from overly aggressive commission schemes and mandates.
Hiring and firing can be very nerve racking, therefore, we take the "Open Fresh Air" approach. Here is how this system works: If a Shumway Employee or Associate is repeatedly not measuring up to our informed and written practice standards, according to their level of monetary compensation, they are first encouraged to make the needed behavioral changes or else we will open our exit door and allow fresh air to replace the old stale air. Detailed written documentation and sincere communication at "arms length" with our legal department is the basis for fair employment and long-term, happy, productive staff.
What laser technologies do you like and dislike? How do you handle new purchases?
Dr. Shumway is a respected Diplomate of the American Board of Laser Surgery (ABLS) and a longtime Fellow of the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery (ASLMS). SHUMWAY COSMETIC SURGERY strongly supports industry and new "light technologies," but recognizes the stability and efficacy of certain time tested LASER procedures. In short, Dr. Shumway uses all LASER wavelengths for many different types of Cosmetic Surgery operations: LASER Liposuction, Skin Resurfacing, Tattoo Removal, Vascular Lesion Treatments, Hair Reduction, LASER Peels, LASER Blepharoplasty, LASER Rhytidoplasty, LASER Rhinoplasty, etcetera, but he reserves the thought and concept that "new" does not necessarily mean "better." For Example, even today, ablative CO2 LASER Resurfacing is still one of the solid "gold standards" within the field of Cosmetic Surgery. SHUMWAY COSMETIC SURGERY maintains direct contact with many vendors, because of our teaching connections, but we tend to shy away from companies that sell medical equipment that produce minimal results, and require repetitive treatments.
What kinds of marketing programs do you use to market to new and existing patients?
SHUMWAY COSMETIC SURGERY marketing occurs through the Internet via our website and by word-of-mouth. Over the years, we have used many news-worthy Cosmetic Surgery segments on television and radio news channels, Shumway DVD productions, magazine and newspaper advertisements, Shumway Cosmetic Surgery Seminars, local aesthetic fairs and gatherings, radio and TV spot advertisements, post cards and direct newsletters. Every type of marketing works for us, but cosmetic organizations must be willing to "track and switch" according to ones results, expectations and needs. Other surgeons from around the world also refer Cosmetic Surgery patients to our care.
What treatments are in demand? Are you thinking of adding more services in your clinic?
The most profitable treatments and services are our Cosmetic Surgery facelifts, TUBA & gel breast implantations, LASER peels, rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty, liposuction, abdominoplasty, mastopexy, autologous fat transfers, otoplasty, neuromodulators, cosmetic fillers, aesthetic skin care products and aesthetician services. We are presently looking into adding Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) and Anti-Aging Medicine to the Shumway Practice.
What have you learned about practicing cosmetic medicine? What stories can you tell?
What have we learned about practicing Cosmetic Surgery at SHUMWAY COSMETIC SURGERY? Well, we have learned to expect the unexpected! Please, allow me to elaborate by sharing the following true story: On one fine Southern California Summer day, a precocious five year old boy (in tow) accompanied his mother and father to a Shumway consultation with Dr. Shumway. During the consultation, the boy's mother became rather excited when she learned that she could literally "turn her aging clock backwards" by about five years using various Shumway Cosmetic Surgery procedures! Without warning, the youngster, who seemed totally oblivious to our previous discussions, became extremely concerned and very emotional. He suddenly leaped up from off the carpet and dropped his toy car. He then frantically grabbed for his mother's arm and wailed, "Mommy, does this mean the end of me?!"
What advice can you give to future doctors?
Delve into Cosmetic Surgery and get all the training that you possibly can. Don't make the mistake that any one specialty has all the answers. Remember the famous words of Dr. Richard C. Webster, MD (the Father of Cosmetic Surgery): "Never stop learning!" And never forget to treat your patients like family: because they are!
What’s the worst decision you ever made as a physician and what did you learn from it?
The worst decision I ever made as a physician: The day I hang up my scalpel, of course (speaking prospectively).
About: Dr. Shumway has been the Director of Shumway Cosmetic Surgery since 1996. Dr. Shumway is an examiner for the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) and an examiner for the World Board of Cosmetic Surgery (WBOCS). He is the past president of the American Society of Cosmetic Breast Surgery (ASCBS), past president of the California Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (CACS) and teaching faculty for the Mexican Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AMCC). He is a trustee of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS) and a Trustee of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS). Dr. Shumway is a fellow of the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery (ASLMS) and a fellow of the American Academy of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS). He has served as chairman of the American Society of Liposuction Surgery (ASLS)
This interview is part of a series of interviews of physicians running medical spas, laser clinics and cosmetic surgery centers. If you'd like to be interviewed, just contact us.