Dr. Barry M. Zide, DMD, MD, Professor of Plastic Surgery NYU is this monster’s full name. Why monster, you ask? I must be exaggerating, you say. Maybe, but first let me tell you about my experience with him.
He wore a gun on his hip. He had a constable’s badge proudly framed on his desk. (Why would an MD need police powers? Why would he need to wear a gun while seeing new patients?) He shouted at me for not sitting on a black, vinyl seat pad he had placed on one corner of his couch. He shouted at me when I didn’t sit on the pad at first. He gave me his cell phone number and told me to call anytime with any concerns or questions. But when I called more than once he shouted at me, threatening me that if I kept calling he wouldn’t help me. There were many red flags that should have warned me away from him, but I was desperate for help, and afraid.
I had an appointment with another surgeon. I called Zide for a second opinion. (The procedure was one of those that Zide claims is one of his specialties.) I had always heard that one should get a second opinion before having any procedure. I expected Zide to praise the doctor I had selected. Instead he told me the doctor’s method didn’t work. He talked himself up, bragged about his accomplishments and reputation, made me afraid to treat with anyone but him. I canceled the appointment with the other doctor and had my surgery with Zide. It was the worst mistake of my life.
His Informed Consent Form contained two little boxes. One read “I request the doctor explain the risks of my procedure to me, ” or words to that effect. The other box read, “I waive my right to be made aware of the risks, ” or words to that effect. I was told to place a check mark in one of the boxes. I checked that I wanted him to explain the risks to me, but he never did. In a space that has more in common with a small dentists office than an operating room, he took my face apart in a horrifying way. I wasn’t ready for this. For anesthesia he had me take Ativan and Valium. His staff called this “Pre-med.” I woke up during the procedure to a feeling of being choked and having my arms restrained. I remember Zide shouting. (The statements of a patient on Valium and Ativan will not hold up in court). He had an unlicensed, unqualified member of his staff stay with me afterward. After the surgery I returned to him and reported excruciating pain. He said it was because of the “dissection.” (Isn’t it cadavers you dissect and not living human beings?) He left an important part of my surgery entirely out of his operative note.
There is too much to say about this monster. Fortunately the monster has condemned himself with his own words. He published a series of articles in a medical journal called Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. In these articles he shows his true face. He talks about the “ploys” he uses to bamboozle patients into trusting him. He tells of instructing his residents (Zide is a professor of plastic surgery at NYU) to make there own “Top doctor plaques” — fake credentials that are good for plastic surgeons to have NOT because they are true, but because patients tend to believe them. He gives instruction to the readership of the journal in step-by-step, paint-by-number style on how to use scripted language, and ploys, and outright lies, and lies by omission, and every aspect of con artistry imaginable to steal a patient’s trust. The references of one of his articles is a list of the kind of cheap, low-brow salesmanship books of dirty tricks that a dishonest used-car salesmen might read. But why should I continue writing when I can let the diabolical master himself do all the talking?
The following links are to The Wayback Machine, an internet archive. The webpages you will read were originally posted on the Makemeheal.com message board website. They mysteriously went missing after a blogger accused one of the website’s moderators of using a double standard — using soft language to describe the moral outrages of Dr. Barry Zide, but harsh language to characterize a blogger’s response to the outrages.