Q: I read your blog post about the difficult financial times that many doctors are going through. I am in that type of situation. I am a surgeon who has been negatively impacted by the economy. As a cosmetic surgeon my practice has fallen off dramatically from where it was five years ago. This is true for most of my colleagues who are cosmetic surgeons here in north Georgia and the Atlanta metro area. I am worried that if I file for bankruptcy the court will not let me keep my equipment that I need to practice surgery. Is that a possibility?
A: Your medical equipment should not be in danger. Many doctors in Georgia have filed bankruptcy under chapter 7 or chapter 13 without having to surrender vital medical equipment. Cosmetic or plastic surgeons have fared poorly in the recession and we have rendered assistance to several. Plastic surgeons have certain issues that do not necessarily impact other doctors quite as much. Plastic surgeons, for instance, are generally more impacted by the economy than other doctors because plastic surgeons are usually paid in full by patients, while other doctors usually rely more heavily on insurance payments.