What in the world could St. Patrick’s Day have in common with Plastic Surgery? I am referring to the legend of St. Patrick driving out the snakes from Ireland. Plastic Surgery certainly has some snakes that deserve to be driven out.
First, it would be nice if doctors who perform cosmetic plastic surgery procedures were required to have actual training in Plastic Surgery. While it is perfectly legal for anyone with an MD degree and license to do whatever surgery or treatment they can convince a patient to do, many unsuspecting people assume they are Board Certified Plastic Surgeons. These providers at the least do not volunteer that they are not Plastic Surgeons, and some even outright lie.
The point is not that they necessarily do a bad job, it is that the public is not fully informed before consenting to a procedure. Just because I call my practice ABC Plastic Surgery does not mean I am a Plastic Surgeon by training. There are even doctors who got together and created a Cosmetic Surgery Organization to certify each other and try to claim equivalency with the American Board of Plastic Surgery, but the AACS (American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery) was recently denied that right in court. The members still claim Board Certified.
The solution, barring new legislation, is to be a smart consumer. Go to www.plasticsurgery.org and enter your doctor’s name. If He/she is not there, they are not certified by ABPS. You can also simpl ask the doctor directly if they are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. The only answer that assures that is yes. If they mention another board, it is not the same.