INTRODUCTION: In the present study, we aimed to outline the overall practice profile of plastic surgeons in the state of Paraná. It represents an initial project that aimed not to provide generalizations but to understand how plastic surgeons think and their professional aspirations, goals, and performance.
METHODS: A survey was conducted using a questionnaire consisting of 37 multiple-choice questions, mostly focusing on the current job market for plastic surgeons. The link to the online questionnaire was e-mailed to 263 members of the Brazilian Society of Plastic Surgery-Regional Paraná (SBCP-PR), which was also accessible via the SBCP-PR website, through a banner on its home page. The overall time to complete the questionnaire ranged from 3 to 5 minutes.
RESULTS: The response rate was 40.5%. Most interviewees operated only in one city, and more than half provided services only through health-care insurance plans and private practice. Half of the participants considered the market as extremely competitive and searched for several alternatives for self-maintenance, including increasing installment payment terms, lowering prices, and working at other locations. A significant proportion of the respondents believed that they lost more than 30 patients owing to pricing in the previous year and performed 10-20 surgeries per month on average. Most of the surgeons did not operate with an auxiliary plastic surgeon because this would increase their operational cost or because technologists could perform this function. Most participants believe that the number of trained residents in the state of Paraná is excessive.
CONCLUSIONS: In Paraná, plastic surgeons are concerned about the job market and therefore search for alternatives to remain competitive.
Keywords: Job market. Surgery, plastic. Professional practice. Marketing of Health Services.