What You Don't Know About Dr. Miami

You may not know the name "Dr. Miami" offhand, but a 2021 documentary is about to change that. As Deadline reported in January 2021, They Call Me Dr. Miami, which was directed by Jean-Simon Chartier, drops on Discovery+ on Feb. 11. Dr. Miami, whose real name is Dr. Michael Salzhauer, is already a massive social media star thanks to his super-popular Snapchat videos, which frequently detail graphic surgical procedures. As the NSFW trailer details — [Editor's note: The trailer contains depictions of surgery and nudity that some viewers may find uncomfortable] — Dr. Miami is also a dedicated father and husband with a strong faith. 

As an Orthodox Jewish man, the in-demand surgeon's moneymaking breast augmentations and butt lifts often chafe against his strict religion. Much of the documentary's drama will surely come from Dr. Miami's struggle to bridge the two worlds, as well as the necessary commentary on selfie culture and our obsession with perfection. Before he takes center stage, here's everything you don't know about the man they call Dr. Miami.

Dr. Miami has gone under the knife himself

Dr. Miami is no stranger to going under the knife himself, telling Women's Health in 2017, "I know what it's like to not like a part of your body. I've had my nose and my chin done." As the plastic surgeon admitted, "I had self-image issues and self-confidence issues since adolescence." Dr. Miami acknowledged, "I know what it's like to have those feelings and to overcome those feelings through plastic surgery."

The doc understands the psychological aspect of undergoing extreme procedures ("Sometimes I'm a psychotherapist with a knife," he memorably told BuzzFeed in 2016.) He's quick to note, too, that plastic surgery perfection cannot be achieved no matter how gifted the surgeon. As Dr. Miami explained to Women's Health: "As long as the surgeon explains to the patient what is possible and what isn't — and makes sure the patient has realistic expectations — the patient ends up happy."

Dr. Miami's daughter recommended that he use Snapchat to document the procedures

Dr. Miami originally started out on Instagram, but his frequently shocking before-and-after photos got his account suspended. One day, his then-15-year-old daughter suggested Snapchat, whose "My Story" function allowed for quick snippets of procedures. "The first My Story I posted was a girl getting a tummy tuck and it got 2,000 views. I went home and showed my daughter and she was like, 'That's a lot for Snapchat, usually people get like 20 views,'" he told Forbes in 2016. 

The surgeon continued posting and his views increased exponentially. A huge amount of clients came through social media — but, as Dr. Miami noted, a third of his overall patients don't want to be featured on Snapchat. "I don't just put anyone on Snapchat, you have to sign a pretty rigorous consent form," he noted. There are plenty of people dying to be featured, however, who "ask to me to shout out to their friends and play certain music. It's like performance art for them." 

Religion keeps Dr. Miami from going off the rails

Although being a plastic surgeon and an Orthodox Jewish man might seem contradictory, Dr. Miami is adamant his faith keeps everything in balance. "If I didn't have a religious outlook, if God wasn't real to me, I don't know how I could do it. I don't know how anyone can do it, really. ...You get caught in an existential, nihilistic whirlwind," he told the Miami New Times. Prior to his documentary, the surgeon enjoyed a brief foray into reality TV with his self-titled show.

When BuzzFeed questioned whether he had any concerns about the potential impact on his home life, Dr. Miami again pointed to his faith as an anchor. "I think that if I wasn't an Orthodox Jew, I would probably be divorced and have two kids and be living like some kind of degenerate," he admitted. Comparing their strict practice to AA, the celebrity surgeon noted, "We pray three times a day. I have to put on tefillin and there are certain ritualistic things you do every single day."

Dr. Miami has some major celebrity clients

His services might be massively in demand nowadays, but it took a while for celebrities to begin knocking on Dr. Miami's door. He told The Inquisitr in 2016 it was eight years before "models and actresses" began coming to him, followed by so-called WAGS, reality stars, and finally musicians. Dr. Miami infamously worked on Teen Mom stars Farrah Abraham, Kailyn Lowry and Briana DeJesus, who returned to his office as recently as February 2021, as per The Sun

Briana previously got a "tummy tuck, liposuction and a butt reduction" from the surgeon, but this marks her third visit, with the reality star initially going under the knife in 2016. Her work is frequently featured on Teen Mom 2. As Dr. Miami told The Inquisitr, "I've done work on lots of celebs over the years. One pattern I've noticed is that the bigger the star is, the less they want people to know that they had work done."

Dr. Miami feuded publicly with Nicki Minaj

Dr. Miami is a huge hip-hop fan, with Complex noting he's been name-dropped in songs from the likes of Snoop Dogg, 2 Chainz (the surgeon even allowed him to watch a surgery once, as per XXL) and Wiz Khalifa, to name just a few. However, not every rapper is a fan of the surgeon, as he learned when Nicki Minaj turned her attention on him. As Marie Claire reported, their problems began in 2015 when Minaj called Dr. Miami out on Twitter, asking, "Did u put a pic of me on ur snap chat Monday? Some1 took a screenshot. What were u insinuating? I'm unfamiliar w/what u do." 

The surgeon reportedly shared a signed photo of Minaj. He tried to convince her it was flattering, revealing Minaj's butt is the "most requested." Two years later, Dr. Miami followed up to let the rapper know whenever her butt starts to "sag" he won't be able to help her fix it because he's simply too busy. Minaj wasn't moved, though. Dr. Miami also told Vanity Fair"Nicki Minaj saying she doesn't know my work is like an N.B.A. player saying they don't know Lebron James's work."