Dr Matthew Peters from Valley Plastic Surgery is a respected plastic surgeon known for his approachable nature and ability to get his patient’s great results. His life as a Plastic Surgeon is juggled with his family life – and with 4 children this can sometimes be a little tricky! We had a chat to Dr Peters about what a typical day looks like for him.
Dr Peters says he’s up at 5.15am every morning. “We all have busy days but starting the day as a family is important. I exercise with my two older children until around 6am, followed by stove-top espresso and getting six bowls out with weetbix and fruit for all of us. I’m out the door by 6.30am with my two eldest children for school drop off.”
Dr Peters starts his working day at 7am, usually with a ward round at the hospitals where he has patients. This is typically Brisbane Private Hospital, Northwest Private Hospital and occasionally at the Wesley. He says, “Depending on patient need I aim to see all of my inpatients daily and will see them either at the start or at the end of my day. Thankfully I have excellent nursing support at all of the hospitals in which I work and their clinical acumen is first-class, so if I am running a bit behind I can call ahead for a detailed handover. Comfort, movement, observations, medications, drains, garments, wounds – there are many elements to consider with my patients, all of which is reviewed so as to achieve an optimal outcome and return to activity.”
Dr Peters says each day is quite different and comprises of a mix of operating at various facilities around Brisbane, and consulting at his clinic, Valley Plastic Surgery. “Valley Plastic Surgery is my main hub. Dr Ray Goh and I bought the premises in 2013, redesigned them in 2014, and opened the doors in 2015. Consulting involves meeting new people with new problems, reviewing immediate post-operative patients upon discharge from hospital, and reviewing longer-term patients to assess the outcome of my surgery, or to check their progress should there be a medical concern that requires surveillance. Communication is key in my line of work and I aim to foster an open line with every patient I meet.”
Dr Peters says he wouldn’t be so organised without his wonderful team at Valley Plastic Surgery. “The front-desk staff worry about me not eating and always procure some food and a coffee from across the road – I eat this whilst replying to emails from the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. I am the Director of Plastic Surgery there and have to address issues regularly – I don’t know how I would have managed private practice and that position before the advent of the iPhone.”
Dr Peters says his operating time varies from all day or half day lists. “Car time in between the clinic and hospitals usually gives me an opportunity to make phone calls to patients if there is an urgent result, or to staff at the Royal Brisbane if required. I get changed into surgical scrubs upon arrival, say hello to the nursing and anaesthetic team and then move on to meet, review and markup the surgical plan for the first patient. Depending on the cases booked, the operating list will last anywhere into the late hours of the night. Good patients, good colleagues, good music courtesy of the anaesthetist and we’re good to go until the work is done.
I always do a post-op ward round to make sure there are no concerns before heading home. I’m usually on the phone in the car, mostly to a mentor of mine, or my brother. I speak to both of them almost daily.”
Dr Peters’ wife is an eye surgeon and he says they often get home around the same time, usually around 9pm. He says their amazing nannies help to keep things running smoothly at home and usually have something prepared for them to eat for dinner. “My wife and I have similarities about our work that allow us to debrief and de-stress before bed.”
To read some real patient stories of Dr Peters’ check out the blogs below. Or, if you’d like to arrange a consultation with Dr Peters click here.