What is the difference between a good doctor and a great one? Innovation and a true desire to give patients the absolute best, and that’s exactly what Dr. Gary D. Breslow, MD set out to do when he turned his successful plastic surgery career into a much bigger venture— the launch of a new type of technology to help patients sift through the softening challenging and emotional process of finding a plastic surgeon. He credits his Jewish upbringing in Dix Hills, NY as the source of his drive to constantly help the industry he’s been active in for so many years.
“I am a board certified plastic surgeon practicing in Paramus, NJ. I went to Brown University for my undergraduate degree, then went to NYU School of Medicine. I went to the University of Pennsylvania for a combined General Surgery/Plastic Surgery Residency Program, then went back to NYU to do a 1 year Fellowship in Microvascular Reconstructive Surgery. I started Zwivel 3.5 years ago after I grew frustrated with the inefficiency of the cosmetic consultation process. Zwivel is the first of its kind platform that enables cosmetic patients to search for and connect with cosmetic doctors online prior to a full, in-office consultation. There is no other platform like it. I believe it will transform the way cosmetic patients and cosmetic doctors connect.”
Until Zwivel came around, patients had to go on the word of their friends or associates to find the right doctor, and then they would have to sit through hours of consultations with doctors they hardly knew anything about only to find out the procedure they were hoping for might not even be what they really need, or that the whole scenario was totally out of budget. At best, the process of finding the right surgeon was a blind and time consuming one for many patients. Imagine if you needed breast reconstruction or wanted a good plastic surgeon to be with you in the OR after a medically-necessary surgery? Zwivel allows patients and potential patients to easily log on to their website, more or less type in a procedure or area of concern, and chat quickly with real doctors.
You start by typing in your zip code and how far you’re willing to travel, and within seconds the direct email addresses of Zwivel-approved doctors in your area pop right up. You are free to email them to ask just about anything— will I scar? Will I need to take time off work? If I do more than one procedure will I be safe? Even pricing is open for discussion, which before this, was a basically taboo topic for plastic surgeons on the internet. But even though Dr. Breslow has saved a lot of people time, money, and heartache, he hasn’t gone without challenges.
“Because this is such an innovative concept, something so out of the box for the medical community, we had pushback from those in the industry. It took a great deal of perseverance to get this to the point of where it is today. As Jews we learn that anything worthwhile takes hard work.”
This sense of Jewish work ethic came early in Dr. Breslow’s life. He saw his family members pushing harder for their dreams, inspiring him to do the same. Hard work builds strong character is the Jewish proverb that has been guiding his life since his earliest days.
“When I was 12 years old, just prior to my Bar Mitzvah, my older brother was selected to play in the Pan American Maccabiah games in Brazil. My whole family went there for the event and it was remarkable to watch Jews from all over the Americas meet there to work hard and compete.”
He is still applying that dedication to his life as a practicing surgeon in New Jersey, tech entrepreneur, husband, and father of two.