PODCAST: Meet the Team – Ruth D., RN, BSN

Nurse Ruth has served patients at LJC for almost twenty years, mostly as Dr. Lori Saltz’s nurse and right hand. Ruth’s earliest introduction to LJC was through her father who served the practice as an accountant in the early years. After nursing school, she worked for several years as an emergency room and urgent care nurse before landing a position at LJC at age 27. She loved LJC so much, the rest is history!

After working alongside now-retired plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Roark, she had an opportunity to join Dr. Lori Saltz’s team. It only took a moment for Ruth and Dr. Lori Saltz to figure out they loved to care for patients together, and nearly two decades later they are still a tremendous team who read each other’s minds and finish each other’s sentences.

Hear Ruth’s candor and openness as she talks about her own cosmetic surgery experiences and describes her day-to-day work life with Dr. Lori Saltz in the unique way that only she can.


Transcript

Speaker 1 (00:07):
You’re listening to The La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast.

Monique Ramsey (00:14):
Hello and welcome to The La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast. I’m your hostess, Monique Ramsey. My guest today is one of my favorite people. She might be one of your favorite people too. If you’ve been with Dr. Saltz in surgery, you’ve probably also met her nurse, Ruth. So welcome to the podcast today, Ruth.

Ruth (00:34):
Thank you.

Monique Ramsey (00:36):
We’re so excited. This is so great. So, Ruth, you’ve been at La Jolla Cosmetic for almost 15 years. Is that right?

Ruth (00:43):
Almost 20 years.

Monique Ramsey (00:44):
Almost 20. Oh, wow. Well, where has the time flown?

Ruth (00:48):
Yeah.

Monique Ramsey (00:48):
Wow. That’s kind of exciting.

Ruth (00:50):
I mean, 19 and a half at this point.

Monique Ramsey (00:52):
Oh, oh. Ooh. So we have a big, big anniversary coming up.

Ruth (00:55):
Well, yeah. I started when my son was a baby and he’ll be 20 in May.

Monique Ramsey (01:00):
Oh my gosh. We’ve seen your kids grow up. It’s so cute.

Ruth (01:04):
You guys have seen me go through all of my life events, but as you know, we have such a camaraderie among the nurses that I consider them all some of my best friends. In addition to Dr. Saltz, of course, because we’ve all been through so much together. Because we’ve worked together for so many years.

Monique Ramsey (01:20):
Yeah. Somebody told me your dad worked here. Did your dad work with us? And when was that? And what are your early memories of this place?

Ruth (01:30):
My first memory of this place is my mom coming in for a consultation with Dr. Olesen for a facelift. My father is a CPA and he owned a big firm that did mostly businesses and tons of medical practices. And Dr. Olesen, Marie used to see him yearly. And my picture was on his desk from high school and I was a terrible teenager. And they used to tell all of these terrible stories about me to the Olesen’s about what a bad kid I was. And so the irony is after I got my second degree and I interviewed there, Dr. Olesen just chuckled because he thought this’ll be interesting.

Monique Ramsey (02:10):
He didn’t forget the stories?

Ruth (02:12):
He did not forget the stories, but fortunately I got my father’s work ethic. And so not a problem.

Monique Ramsey (02:17):
That is really funny. I’ve never heard that story.

Ruth (02:20):
Oh yeah. It’s fabulous.

Monique Ramsey (02:21):
So when you came to work at La Jolla Cosmetic, did you start with Dr. Saltz right away?

Ruth (02:28):
I did not. They originally hired me to work with Dr. Roark to try to keep him on schedule. He was relatively new to the practice at that point, but I like to talk and I like to make interactions with the patient to make them feel comfortable. But Dr. Roark prefers that you just kind of stand there and he does all the talking. Needless to say that was not a match made in heaven.

Monique Ramsey (02:51):
Your styles just weren’t vibing.

Ruth (02:53):
Yeah. And everybody’s different. All surgeons approach things differently depending upon their personality. And he was a very warm, hands on surgeon, and he wanted to have the relationships with the patient and for you to just be really an assistant.

Monique Ramsey (03:07):
And so then you started working with Dr. Saltz and what’s the magic that happens there? Why do you think it works so well?

Ruth (03:14):
I started working with Dr. Saltz because her regular nurse was having some health issues. And I said, “Oh, I’ll work with her.” And I think we worked together once or twice. And it was like a perfect fit. Doctor Saltz is on the shy side, especially when interacting with new people and I’m exactly the opposite. So I would go in and get a history and really get to know the patient, bond with them, and then I would tell Dr. Saltz what their concerns were. Because usually people feel comfortable with me and they will divulge, “Oh. My breasts are really bothering me. I’m embarrassed after children,” and I’ll understand because I was too. And then I tell Dr. Saltz. So she’d walk into the room already knowing the patient’s concerns and could repeat that. And that was an instant comfort for the patients. And she wants me to be independent, make smart decisions, not repeatedly ask her questions for the same things. And I tend to be very independent. And, of course, I’ll tell her if anything’s going on, but for routine stuff, I know how to handle these things. I have plenty of training.

Monique Ramsey (04:16):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). You have a nickname. Dr. Ruth.

Ruth (04:19):
Oh.

Monique Ramsey (04:19):
Dr. Ruth.

Ruth (04:20):
Oh yeah. Yeah.

Monique Ramsey (04:21):
Yeah. Because you are so knowledgeable and I love the fact that she trusts you and lets you do your thing because you’re really good at that.

Ruth (04:32):
Honestly, the other surgeons ask me all of the time what to do. And ask me my opinion. Just based on my experience with Doctor Saltz, what we’ve seen, because we’ve seen everything, and some of the newer doctors will say, “What would she do?” And I know exactly what she would do because I’ve worked with her for so long.

Monique Ramsey (04:50):
The walking physician’s desk reference.

Ruth (04:54):
Yeah. I try to be helpful.

Monique Ramsey (04:55):
That’s good. I think that’s really important. And like you say, you’ve kind of seen it all. Every post op situation, every pre-op oddity that you’re like, “Well, how do we problem solve this?” And I think that’s something that patients don’t always necessarily know that’s happening behind the scenes, but there’s a lot going on around them. And maybe explain a little bit about some of that.

Ruth (05:19):
So every patient fills out an extensive health history before they come in, which of course we review before we walk in the room. However, honestly, people forget to divulge things. They may have had a major complication that they didn’t say in their history and physical. When we do the pre-op, I’m going to find out everything in their past. And I’ve caught many, many things that were a concern, that we would want a patient to get clearance for in their background. And I do pride myself on catching things before surgery. Patient safety is number one, right? Safety, safety, safety, and a good result. And that’s my job, to catch things. So we do that. And then if I’m concerned about anything that’s out of the ordinary, if it’s not a 22 year old with no health history, we’re going to bring it to the operating room. We’re going to have anesthesiologists review that. If there’s any concerns from the surgical aspect, Dr. Saltz is going to review that. So I want patients to be sure that we have their safety in mind and we’re trained.

Monique Ramsey (06:18):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). You’re not just pretty. Yeah. Not just decoration.

Ruth (06:23):
I’m getting less pretty with age.

Monique Ramsey (06:25):
Oh, stop it.

Ruth (06:25):
However, I am ready for a facelift now.

Monique Ramsey (06:28):
Are you?

Ruth (06:28):
Yeah. You know, it’s an interesting fact that I started at this office when I was 27. I’m now 47. So I started with breast and body surgeries after kids. And then I had my eyelids done about three years ago. And I remember I was lying on the table and I looked up at Doctor Saltz’ husband, Doctor Saltz. And I said to him, “I can’t believe now I’m on facial stuff because it’s been so long.” And then here I am looking down and, “Okay, well next is the face. The body’s been overhauled.”

Monique Ramsey (07:01):
Yeah.

Ruth (07:02):
Let’s just keep going upward.

Monique Ramsey (07:04):
Yeah. In fact, I was in there. I filmed your surgery that day.

Ruth (07:07):
Oh, that’s right. You sure did.

Monique Ramsey (07:09):
So we do have a little on our Instagram. We have a little Insta Highlight from that day.

Ruth (07:13):
Yeah. We can do another one on my face.

Monique Ramsey (07:15):
Okay. I want to come.

Ruth (07:16):
Yeah.

Monique Ramsey (07:16):
Yeah. That was fun. So do you feel like you know what Dr. Saltz is going to do before she does it? Do you feel like you kind of have that kind of a relationship?

Ruth (07:28):
Absolutely. When we’re doing a consultation, sometimes she’ll kind of stop mid-sentence and look at me and she’ll say, “Based on my past, Ruth, what do you think?” And I said, “Well…” She always is trying to improve, which I think is one of her most amazing qualities, because I know if I were a surgeon, I would not be like that. I would get comfortable and I would stop growing. She’s the opposite. She’s a perfectionist. And if it’s not perfect, she has no ego in taking patients back to surgery.

Monique Ramsey (07:59):
How would you describe Dr. Saltz to a new patient who maybe hasn’t met her yet?

Ruth (08:05):
When we’re doing the Zooms, since the pandemic, she’s very relaxed and actually does most of the talking. She’s very introverted. And when she’s at home and it’s in sort of her happy zone, she’s much more interactive with the patients. And honestly, I just sort of might pipe in here or there, but mostly I just document, which is also very important to her. And then we do tell the patients, “When you meet her in person, she’s a lot more reserved just because she’s a surgeon and surgeons like being in the operating room where everything is quiet and they’re focusing on what they’re doing. And seeing people all day long as an introvert is hard.” That’s what energizes me. But in her case, she wants to give everyone her full attention, but she tends to be pretty reserved in person. And patients might perceive that as less warm, but it’s really just because she’s focused and about the business.

Monique Ramsey (09:04):
You’re in the clinic with her on all her days where she’s seeing patients, pre-ops, post-ops. You’re doing the pre-ops and doing the consultations. And then do you occasionally work with her in the operating room?

Ruth (09:17):
Not as much as I like. The issue with that is I see patients with her Mondays and Wednesdays. Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, I need to see my patients and pre-op them. And so if I was in the OR with her, they would miss me at all the post-op visits. And I already have a relationship with these people. I want to be the one to take out their drains and their sutures and reassure them. Do I know how to work the operating room? Yes, I did it this morning.

Monique Ramsey (09:41):
Uh-huh (affirmative). Oh, that’s right.

Ruth (09:42):
Yeah. So I wish, and a lot of times patients tell me afterwards, “Where were you?”

Monique Ramsey (09:47):
They were expecting you to be in the OR that day?

Ruth (09:51):
They are. But I always explain that your interaction with the nurse is very brief that day because you’re asleep and there’s a different recovery room nurse. And I would rather be with them when they’re awake and I can interact more.

Monique Ramsey (10:01):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). And afterwards, especially where you’re kind of feeling, right after surgery, maybe the most vulnerable, the most confused. And I think having somebody like you, who has so much experience and to be able to help reassure them is important.

Ruth (10:18):
And I’ve had these things done myself. And when patients are scared about surgery, in fact, the gal that we were doing this morning, she was having a breast lift. And I showed her my breasts because I have mature scars and she was nervous. She has four children. And I said, “Look, I’ve worked there for 19 years. I’ve seen every single complication. There’s nothing that would keep me from getting on the table. My dad’s had surgery here twice. My mom’s had surgery here twice. I’m not telling you this and not partaking myself. Dr. Saltz had a facelift a few years ago. She has surgery here too.” So that’s usually very reassuring to people.

Monique Ramsey (10:58):
Yeah. That’s a really good point. So how do you help patients in the practice?

Ruth (11:04):
First, I get to know them on a personal level. I feel like I can relate to most people. Everybody’s obviously different, but I really like to know the person behind the surgery. To me, that’s the most interesting part of my job. I’ve met so many phenomenal people in so many fields and I tend to be pretty nosy. “What do you do? Well, what does that mean?” And I find that fascinating. Plus, I get to know their goals and I get to see them when their goals are met. And they’re so excited. So the first part of the job is to keep people comfortable, have the assessment, and do the pre-op to make sure they’re medically ready. They’re prepared for their surgery. And then all the post-op care. I do everything.

Monique Ramsey (11:45):
Now, what made you want to be a nurse?

Ruth (11:49):
I always knew I was going to be in the medical field. A family of physicians. And so I thought originally I’d go to medical school. I did my undergrad in sociology, which as we all know, isn’t very applicable to employment. And I took a couple bio courses afterwards and I thought, “Do I really want to sacrifice everything to be a doctor?” And maybe I’m just too much of a hedonist. I don’t know. But my ex-husband was working with somebody who happened to work with an ICU nurse, or he was married to an ICU nurse and she made a very good living. And obviously it’s extremely hands-on and I thought, “I’m going to go to nursing school.” And once I make a decision, it’s full steam ahead. And I applied, I got in, back in the nineties you had to get another full four year degree.

Ruth (12:42):
I was in college for eight years. Because I had to take all the prerequisites and then three full years of nursing. But it was 100% worth it, but I always knew. I used to operate on my dolls. In fact, my mom stopped buying me Barbies, because I would cut their heads off and operate on them. I’d put braces on my dolls. I just always knew.

Monique Ramsey (13:05):
Oh my gosh, that’s so cool.

Ruth (13:07):
Luckily, I think most people don’t have that. So I feel fortunate.

Monique Ramsey (13:11):
So where did you train?

Ruth (13:13):
I did Sharp Memorial ER. I did several things. My first real nursing job was working at a geriatric psychiatric unit.

Monique Ramsey (13:23):
Ooh.

Ruth (13:24):
And I don’t really like psych, but I needed experience and I was good at assessing patients if they were having medical issues. And a lot of the nurses had worked psych only. And so they would not necessarily understand when somebody was having a medical issue. But that was difficult. You get poop thrown at you, food thrown at you, you have to do the Heimlich when somebody’s choking on their eggs. And this is a psychiatric unit, so a lot of them have dementia and sometimes they’re very aggressive. And I’ll never forget this patient who was so unhappy, and she was just always yelling and her son came in one time and he said, “I wish you knew her the way she was before. She was the most lovely, sweet, kind woman.” And I was so appreciative to know that because you don’t know where people are coming from.

Ruth (14:12):
And then I did Sharp Memorial ER, which was a whole other education in and of itself. And I did love it. But after I had my first child, I really didn’t want to work nights, weekends, and holidays. And I just looked around and back then there was a nursing shortage. So you could really pick where you wanted to work. I interviewed at a bunch of places and then I came to La Jolla Cosmetic and it was so nice that I thought, “I don’t think I can go anywhere else now.” And the rest is history.

Monique Ramsey (14:43):
The rest is history. So that’s what led you to aesthetics. And did you kind of know that was the specialty you wanted to be in terms of the other places you were interviewing or did you sort of interview at a bunch of different?

Ruth (14:57):
I did urgent cares and ERs really only because that was my experience and I love it. But I love pretty much everything I do. I’m one of those people who loves to work, I’m positive. I can find the good in everything. And so I started and I thought, “Well, this is fun.” I thoroughly enjoyed it. And the great thing about it is you have relationships with these people, whereas at urgent cares or emergency rooms, you’ll never see them again most likely.

Monique Ramsey (15:24):
Yeah, that’s true. I would think in 20 years, have you seen generations of patients or…

Ruth (15:32):
This is a funny thing. So when I first started, like I said, I was 27. And so when patients would come in for consultations and breast augmentations, they weren’t much younger than me. And a lot of them were older. And I was born in 1975. So the birthdays were like… The lowest birthday would’ve been like 84. So I didn’t feel old. Well, as the time goes on, you’d have a patient who said, “Oh, you’re the same age as my mom.”

Ruth (15:59):
They’re 20 years old and you’re 40 and you thought, “Oh, okay.” And so the years just kept getting younger and younger. And then you were like, “Wow, you’re born the same year as my son. And you’re a total adult getting plastic surgery.” So that was pretty funny. But you accept it. And we all had our glory years and as you get older, you value different things and I’m happy to make young and older women, but especially women in their twenties. You’re so self critical those years of your body. You’re in your prime, but you don’t feel it. And you’re constantly critical. And to see the changes that we make in people’s confidence at that age, as simple as a breast augmentation, it just changes people. And anything you can do to make yourself more confident at that age, I think is a definite go.

Monique Ramsey (16:56):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). I agree. And I think that’s what’s true for any age, right? So I’m now 54 and fixing something small and going, “Oh, wow. That made all the difference,” can make a difference at any age. But I think you’re right in terms of very young people, they don’t have the life experience to kind of know how that will be transformative for them.

Ruth (17:19):
Well, and they tend to focus on it. You do a breast augmentation on somebody who’s essentially got no breast tissue. They’re terribly embarrassed. They can’t wear anything without a padded bra, intimacy can be an issue. And on the flip side, somebody has huge breasts and they’re constantly hiding their body. And it really… We’ve done tons of 17, 18 year olds, as young as 16. Breast reductions are just phenomenal. They come up, they feel like they have 20 year old breasts, instead of 35 year old breasts. Real big breasts are not perky.

Monique Ramsey (17:50):
Right. And I can remember a few patients over the years, and I don’t know how common this is, but where they have very asymmetrical breasts. Most breasts are different. They’re not always perfectly the same. That’s totally normal, but there are some people who have one breast significantly larger than the other, and that can be a very hard thing, I think. And does that come up often?

Ruth (18:13):
We’re actually doing a patient very soon who has about a cup and a half difference and she’s in her twenties. She’s extremely bright. She did all of this research and she knows nothing’s going to be perfect, but it’s going to be life changing for her to just buy something off the rack. Not be embarrassed in a tank top. I mean, she has to wear a pad all the time. She’s so asymmetrical. So that’s a very rewarding procedure for us.

Monique Ramsey (18:40):
And what is the name of that? Does it have a specific name?

Ruth (18:43):
Not necessarily. Sometimes patients have something called tubular breasts and that’s a developmental thing, so it’s not hereditary, where the breast tissue ends up going into a ring around the areola and the breasts are very pointy. And the patients are generally very embarrassed about their breasts and the shape. They’re very commonly asymmetric, significantly. Not always. But, no. Some patients just don’t develop on one side.

Monique Ramsey (19:11):
Interesting. So what have you learned from listening to patients?

Ruth (19:18):
People know their bodies. And they know something’s not right. They know if something’s going on. They’re very good at assessing themselves. Now, some patients worry a lot more than others and I’m there to assuage that. I don’t want them to worry, especially when things are normal. Nerve regeneration, it might feel like an infection to some people, but it’s normal. Or little spots on your bra after a breast lift. That’s normal too, but I don’t want them to worry.

Monique Ramsey (19:49):
So tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up?

Ruth (19:52):
I grew up in San Diego. I had the best possible upbringing. My parents are incredible. I had everything. I was given a great education. My parents took us traveling when we were young. My college was paid for. I had every opportunity. So if I squandered that, shame on me. Especially, I’ve met so many patients who have none of that and they’ve done everything on their own. And I always say to them, “I don’t know if I would’ve been as strong as you. I don’t know if I came from a background like that if I would’ve accomplished what you’ve done.” And I’m always amazed by people’s grit to come out of those situations and be completely different than their upbringing and become successful. But yes, I had every advantage. There’s no question.

Monique Ramsey (20:46):
And being a local, did you attend college locally?

Ruth (20:50):
I didn’t the first time. I actually went to UC Santa Cruz for my first undergrad. And I did love it there, but it was a little too… It was sort of out there. And there was a lot of picketing and there was no makeup and everyone wore sweatpants. And that’s fine. A lot of people prefer that. I was raised in Southern California and I was never really comfortable with that. And I remember, I always worked when I was in school because I love working. I worked at Pacifica Del Mar and I was working at the hostess stand and all of these women walked in, dressed to the nines and I remember saying, “I’m home.” And then I went to Point Loma Nazarene for my nursing degree. So I did stay here. Honestly, I was married at that point as well.

Monique Ramsey (21:38):
Oh, that’s nice. So what do you like to do outside of the office? What’s happening in your life when you’re not with us?

Ruth (21:45):
I love to work out. I’ve really devoted my entire life to my kids. I’m not a person that honestly has a lot of hobbies other than listening to podcasts and reading. I’ve just poured everything into my kids. I’ve worked a lot and I was always the provider. And so I felt like I owed my kids my time when I wasn’t at work. I think I’ve kind of put myself on hold. I do want to get my doctorate just because I think that I want to expand my brain. But other than exercising and just being involved in my kids and activities, that’s about it.

Monique Ramsey (22:18):
So tell us one of your favorite books that you’ve ever read.

Ruth (22:22):
I really only read nonfiction. I’m very square. I don’t have a scientific brain. I did love the series, it’s actually historical fiction, about Josephine and Napoleon Bonaparte. And the relationship and the history of what was going on in the world. Because they had an amazing love story. And I was reading it when I was breastfeeding my son and he breastfed 24 hours a day. He was one of those babies.

Monique Ramsey (22:52):
Oh wow.

Ruth (22:53):
And I thought to myself, “If I ever have a daughter, I’m going to name Josephine.” And I did.

Monique Ramsey (22:59):
Oh my gosh, that’s such a cool story.

Ruth (23:02):
Oh, and another one I absolutely loved. The one by Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha, which actually I found out later was fiction, but it was so…

Monique Ramsey (23:12):
It’s a great book.

Ruth (23:12):
Accurate. And it was a man that wrote that.

Monique Ramsey (23:15):
Oh really? I didn’t..

Ruth (23:17):
Arthur Golden.

Monique Ramsey (23:18):
Oh, I didn’t remember that.

Ruth (23:20):
Completely from a female perspective. And I just remember being riveted by that book.

Monique Ramsey (23:25):
It was very good. Yeah. We read that for my book club a long time ago and I loved it. I think historical fiction is so cool because it makes you learn more about a time in history and what was going on. And now I have a new thing I can read, Napoleon and Josephine.

Ruth (23:41):
Oh yeah. That was a great series. And there was three or four books. I always loved like A Year in Provence, all of those, because it’s about people. I love biographies. One of my favorite authors when I was a kid was Roald Dahl and I got to read his autobiography and it was phenomenal. So yeah, just like here, I tend to be interested in people.

Monique Ramsey (24:04):
What do you want listeners to take away from this podcast?

Ruth (24:10):
They’re going to have a good experience here. We pride ourselves on really having relationships with the patients. You got to keep in mind that most of the nurses there have worked there for 10 plus years. That means a lot. Unless somebody moves or has a baby and decides not to work anymore, people stay. And that says a lot about our work environment and the kind of experience people are going to have. We’re very experienced. Patients are very nervous about showing us a body part they’re insecure about, and we try to make it as comfortable as possible. And I think we do. And plastic surgery, as you know, is not an instant outcome. And a lot of patients the first week or two, I’ll tell them, “You will wonder why you did this. Because you can’t imagine your breasts are going to settle, or the swelling in your abdomen is gonna go down, or your energy level is gonna come back to normal.” And it does the body heals, but we’re there to get them through that process. And then, of course, the outcome.

Monique Ramsey (25:12):
Yeah. So I’m going to embarrass you. Are you ready?

Ruth (25:15):
Nothing embarrasses me. Nothing.

Monique Ramsey (25:19):
Okay. Okay. No. So I have a few reviews where you were called out and so I’m going to read a couple of them.

Ruth (25:27):
Okay. Thank you.

Monique Ramsey (25:28):
Yeah. This is from a consultation and the person said, “Dr. Saltz took time to answer my questions, get to know me as a person, explain procedures, address the concerns. She intuited that I had even before I expressed them. And both she and Ruth were great at explaining things in a language that I could stand as a lay person.” Is that something that you do naturally or is that something you have to kind of think about?

Ruth (25:58):
I do it naturally. And Dr. Saltz sometimes will say things that are very technical. And I’ll say, “Dr. Saltz, explain to her what you mean by that.” And sometimes, as surgeons, doctors, they forget that everyone doesn’t know their vernacular. Right? And so she explains herself. She used to want patients to know all the technical details of surgery. And we sort of saw them go blank when we were explaining the intricacies of our surgeries. And so we decided to just make things simple and she says, “I’ll worry about the details. I’ll tell you what you need to know. The basics. And we’ll get you through that based on what you understand.” So we’ve learned.

Monique Ramsey (26:39):
Yeah, yeah.

Ruth (26:40):
What people want to hear and what makes them comfortable versus explaining things that are difficult and then walking away saying, “I don’t even know what she just said.”

Monique Ramsey (26:48):
Right. Right. And I think everybody’s so different. I’m the type of person who wants to know all the details. Explain how and why and what, because then I can understand, and it’s easier for me to go forward. Other people are just like, “You do your thing. I just want it to look good.”

Ruth (27:04):
Exactly.

Monique Ramsey (27:05):
And then there’s people all along that spectrum somewhere.

Ruth (27:08):
Absolutely. And we did this personality testing, as you’re aware, at the office. And I already truthfully felt like I was pretty intuitive with that types of personalities, but it definitely still helped me. And like you said, there’s going to be people who’ve researched, have binders, have extremely detailed questions. And those patients that are very prepared and nervous do the best after surgery because they do all of their worrying before.

Monique Ramsey (27:34):
Oh.

Ruth (27:35):
Once surgery’s over, they’re fine. They stop worrying. But yeah. You have to recognize the patient who doesn’t want you to do that. And they don’t want to have a two hour pre-op. They want to sign their forms and get out of there. And I respect that and I’m going to make that person happy based on their needs.

Monique Ramsey (27:53):
One other person said, “Dr. Saltz and Ruth are phenomenal. I’m very happy with my results. And my confidence has been boosted.” So there’s that word you were using earlier. Confidence.

Ruth (28:05):
That’s probably the best part of our job. And then sometimes when we do these big tummy tucks or huge breast reductions and people see themselves for the first time and they start to cry, you know what that means to that person. And being a part of that moment is pretty amazing. I know Dr. Olesen, who’s your uncle, did a lot of noses. And he would take off these casts. And some of these patients, the emotion that they expressed and Dr. Saltz isn’t always comfortable with people showing a lot of emotions, but after the fact she’ll tell the patient, “That’s why I learned to do what I do.” And she’s very appreciative when patients express the change in their life.

Monique Ramsey (28:48):
I saw last night a patient of ours, she had a breast reduction and a tummy tuck, and she posted last night and tagged us. But that’s what she said, because it was such a big, huge deal for her to have this transformation. And she goes, “I know I’m really early in the process,” but her dream’s becoming real. And that’s really, that’s our new brand promise, “Where dreams become real.” And so tell us about a dream of yours that became real.

Ruth (29:18):
My son’s made it off to college despite through the pandemic. I think as a parent, you want to see your kids succeed. And at the very least be functional human beings that are happy. I’m not really a dreamer, Monique. I’m one of those people who’s very mired in the present and I’ve read a lot of books that say that’s a good thing because I don’t worry. I’m not a worrier. But yeah. I tend to be just too mired in the present to look forward much. I think that’s part of my boxy brain.

Monique Ramsey (29:48):
Boxy brain.

Ruth (29:49):
Very left brain.

Monique Ramsey (29:49):
And is Dr. Saltz a left brain also, would you say?

Ruth (29:55):
No, she’s all the things I’m not. She’s creative. She’s domestic. She’s an artist. Right? That’s why she’s a surgeon. So, my favorite example is, I got like a D in geometry. That was her favorite class.

Monique Ramsey (30:09):
Really?

Ruth (30:10):
Because she’s so good with spatial relationships. She has to be with what she does, but no. She has that other part of her brain activated, which I think is hugely important. She does look at the future. She does have an imagination. And she loved all the Harry Potter books. So I think that’s amazing because I don’t own those traits.

Monique Ramsey (30:29):
Yeah. And that’s, I think, why you guys are such a great duo.

Ruth (30:32):
Yeah. I looked for somebody like her.

Monique Ramsey (30:34):
What are you going to do when she retires?

Ruth (30:37):
That’s a very good question.

Monique Ramsey (30:38):
Is that where you might go off and get your…

Ruth (30:41):
I would, but I would still want to work here. At least part-time. Just the thought of not being here, honestly just makes me sad.

Monique Ramsey (30:50):
Oh.

Ruth (30:50):
I would keep my hand in it just because I love it. And most of those programs, honestly, are for working adults so that you can do it two or three days a week. My kids are getting a little older and they need me less, but I definitely will go back to school.

Monique Ramsey (31:04):
Well, this has been so much fun.

Ruth (31:06):
Oh, good.

Monique Ramsey (31:07):
I’m so glad you’re here. And you made this time for us. And for all our listeners, thanks for listening. I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. Please leave us a review. We would really appreciate that. And look in the show notes for any links. You’ll be able to ask questions about services or scheduling a consultation, all that is in the show notes. And thank you again. This was really fun.

Ruth (31:31):
You’re welcome. You know I love to talk.

Monique Ramsey (31:35):
Is there anything we forgot to cover?

Ruth (31:36):
One thing I do want to mention for anybody that’s considering surgery with Dr. Saltz is she only does breast and body. She doesn’t do above the neck. So if somebody wants a combination procedure, that can certainly be done. But she’s breast and body only.

Monique Ramsey (31:50):
Well, thank you again. This was really fun. And we’ll talk to you next time.

Ruth (31:55):
Okay.

Monique Ramsey (31:56):
Okay. Bye.

Ruth (31:57):
Thanks, Monique.

Speaker 1 (32:04):
Take a screenshot of this podcast episode with your phone and show it at your consultation or appointment or mention the promo code PODCAST to receive $25 off any service or product of $50 or more at La Jolla Cosmetic. La Jolla Cosmetic is located just off the I5 San Diego freeway in the XIMED building on the Scripps Memorial Hospital campus. To learn more, go to ljcsc.com or follow the team on Instagram at LJCSC, the La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast is a production of The Axis. theaxis.io.

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