The decision to have a plastic or reconstructive procedure is not a small matter. In our quest to find the best plastic surgeon to perform our most desired plastic surgery procedure, be it a facelift or a tummy tuck, we often refer to the internet and start with an on-line search. In the past, it was common to ask our primary care physician, our gynecologist, or a family friend, who happened to be a physician, for a plastic surgeon referral. Now, in just a few clicks on our computers, iphones, or notebooks, we can produce a list of surgeons and read their reviews on yelp or other social sites. With the help of social media marketing and pay per click campaigns, any physician can pay to gain any of the top positions visible to thousands of consumers. A well constructed website with photos of beautiful models can cause doctors that are not plastic surgeons to blend with plastic surgeons in a consumer’s search for, “The Best Liposuction Doctor” or “Cosmetic Surgeon.”
With all this, patients should know that medical doctors in the United States are allowed to practice in any field of medicine, not limited to their specific medical specialty. Also, it is not necessary for a physician to be board certified in any particular specialty. Here is an important article published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), “New Laws, TV Ads, Expose White Coat Deception,” http://www.plasticsurgery.org/News-and-Resources/New-Laws-TV-Ads-Expose-White-Coat-Deception.html.
To find out more about the doctor you are researching, check the biography or curriculum vitae. This should be located on their website and is often found in the “About the doctor” tab.
In Short, here is your recipe for a board certified plastic surgeon:
– An undergraduate degree
– A medical degree from a reputable medical school
– At least 6 years of training and experience in surgery with 3 years specifically in plastic and reconstructive surgery for face and body. This should be listed under their residency and internships.
The easiest way to tell if your doctor is a board certified plastic surgeon is to see if he or she is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, (ASPS). Please refer to this article, which will outline ASPS membership qualifications. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/Articles-and-Galleries/Patient-and-Consumer-Information/ASPS-Member-Qualifications.html.