Finding a qualified plastic
surgeon can be challenging in today's world. Do not underestimate the complexity of this
important task. I offer the following advice to help you on your quest:
Ask a friend:
If a friend was satisfied with the care provided by a plastic surgeon, then chances are that you will be similarly pleased. Unfortunately, not everyone has a friend who has had plastic surgery.
Ask someone in the medical profession, such as your family doctor or a nurse:
Keep in mind, however, that doctors and nurses may only be familiar with the physicians at their own hospitals, and they may refer to plastic surgeons based on personality or friendship rather than ability. They will also tend to refer to "hospital-based" plastic surgeons, who tend to perform mostly reconstructive surgery. Make sure your plastic surgeon spends most of his or her time performing cosmetic surgery - especially the one your seek.
Look for a Plastic Surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery:
Be aware of made-up boards that sound official and issue official-appearing certificates. These boards may sound impressive, but according to Joyce D. Nash, author of What Your Doctor Can't Tell You About Cosmetic Surgery, "Certification of competency from such organizations is probably meaningless." Be certain to ask from which board certification was received. If your plastic surgeon is not certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery, be suspicious.
You may look in your telephone directory for a plastic surgeon, but beware:
Know that in most metropolitan telephone directories, only about 50% of the physicians listed under "Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons" are plastic surgeons who are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Some physicians listed in the plastic surgery section have absolutely no formal training in cosmetic plastic surgery.
Telephone directories in most states do not require physicians to state from which board they received certification. Therefore, physicians may advertise under "Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons" and state they are board certified, but not be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Look for a Plastic Surgeon who is a member of the
American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
The ASPS only inducts plastic surgeons who are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. To obtain the names of these plastic surgeons in your area, call the ASPS at 847-228-9900 or visit their web site.
Finding a qualified plastic surgeon may seem like a daunting task. It can be. Understand that unqualified physicians make great efforts to create the impression that they are plastic surgeons. Be aware that the term "board certified" is meaningless, unless it is associated with the name of the board from which certification was received. Know that, in many states, it is legal for unqualified physicians to perform plastic surgery procedures in which they have not been trained. Realize that you may unknowingly see an unqualified physician, but think he is a qualified plastic surgeon. If you understand these issues, then you are well ahead of the general public. To begin your search, call a reputable plastic surgery organization, such as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (847-228-9900), ask for the names of plastic surgeons in your area, and carefully evaluate your plastic surgeon during the consultation...
Evaluation Of Your
they certified by the American Board of
they explain procedures,
risks, and alternatives in detail and with clarity?
they describe recovery
time and postoperative care?
they convey realistic
they answer questions
they listen to your
they make you feel
Unless the answer to each of these questions is a resounding "yes," then you should consider seeing another plastic surgeon.