(February 2006)

Throughout the research and writing of Beauty from Afar, I communicated with and consulted many surgeons, doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals. I talked to and consulted many more people than those mentioned or quoted in this book, having had to pick and choose each step of the way. Readers should not assume that any particular doctor or medical facility has my particular endorsement just by fact of their appearance in these pages. That which serves the general narrative of this book should not be taken as more than that. In no way do I mean to suggest, for example, that the surgeons to whose work I refer are better at what they do than many others who are unmentioned. They are offered as illustrative examples and are among those who have the most experience in medical tourism. From their collective individual experiences, from the published news reports about medical tourism of the last decade, from extensive research online, and from collateral reading of what few books touch upon the subject, I was able to assemble a more general picture of what individual prospective medical
tourists should seek out, and what they can expect to find.

Similarly, that I mention companies that cater to patients who wish to travel abroad for surgery should in no way be construed as endorsing the quality of their services. Again, they are examples, a few chosen from many fledgling enterprises. It is my personal judgment, based on lengthy experience as a journalist and virtually none with startup companies, that those I selected have a stronger chance than most of succeeding in the long run; but I have no way of knowing for sure.

In the interests of full disclosure, readers should also know I have accepted no remuneration, fee, or discounted services from any business or individual mentioned in this book. I owe meals to a couple of people, perhaps, but owe favorable or preferential treatment to no one and made no bargains regarding treatment in return for interviews or access to facilities. Many of those I did interview were allowed to review draft text of Beauty from Afar to check the accuracy of my reporting, and I thank them all for their time and diligence. The end product is solely my responsibility.

Many people have asked me why I chose to write about the specific countries that I did. Fine low-cost medical services and talented, highly qualified surgeons exist in many others. All along, however, I was determined to provide information about countries that are currently the most accessible and inviting to medical tourists, the ones where the U.S. and European markets are targeted and courted. Certainly, one can find excellent plastic surgeons and medical facilities in many countries that are unmentioned in this book. If you prefer going to one of them, don’t take my neglect as a sign of my disapproval. Do your homework, choose wisely, and have a great trip.

Jeff Schult
Author, Beauty from Afar

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