A Letter from Dr. Poulter – Reflections on 25 Years

As I get ready to enter my 25th year in practice, I can’t help but reflect on how far we’ve come since we first opened our doors in 1992. I started with a 1,200 square foot office and one employee, who managed the office, transcription, billing, and patient coordination. We now have a 3,400 square foot office that includes a state of the art, fully accredited operative suite, 5 full time employees and a full time aesthetician, and a second satellite location at Medi-Weightloss in Peoria.

Only 12 people attended the open house of my first practice. At the start, I would see two patients, clean the rooms, and then see two more. I scrubbed instruments at night and took them to the hospital to be sterilized. After eight months, our hours expanded and I was able to hire my first nurse. For the next five years, our practice grew steadily due to our reputation for excellent results and attention to detail. We moved to our current office in 1997.

From the beginning, I was interested in body contouring, including breast enhancement, augmentation, lift, and reduction, as well as reconstruction. Contouring also includes tummy tucks, liposuction, and all varieties of arm, buttock, torso, and thigh lifts. In 2004, I went to Kansas City to train under Dr. Ted Lockwood (the “grandfather of contouring after massive weight loss”) to enhance my skills and improve my results for all of my contouring patients.

Looking back over the last 25 years, I think about the core principles that have made me successful:

  • Attention to detail in all aspects of patient care, especially pain control
  • Consider the patient’s needs for the future, as well as today, in order to help optimize results and minimize surgeries
  • Care for the patient as I would want to be cared for with honesty, humility, understanding, and compassion
  • Knowing when to say no – perhaps a different procedure or even none at all is a better choice
  • Continue to learn and add a new procedure to my skill set every year
  • Don’t be afraid of technology, but remember that sometimes it is no substitute for knowledge and experienced hands
  • Make sure the patient knows the risks and benefits of the planned procedure
  • Allow the patient to be human; let them be mad if they have a side effect that prolongs their recovery; let them cry with their recent cancer diagnosis; let them brag about their child’s awards and promotions; and let them give you a hug when they are so happy with their results and their amazing change
  • Be happy, create a friendly work environment, and enjoy the beauty of your surroundings

The past 25 years have been a wild ride, and I could never have gotten to this point without the love, support and business savvy of my beautiful wife of 31 years, Julie. In 2015, I hired Heather Till as my new office manager. She has been an integral factor in unifying my excellent staff and bringing their enthusiasm back to the practice. I’ve genuinely enjoyed serving the Central Illinois area for the past 25 years, and look forward to doing so for many years to come.