I wanted to spend just a minute with you and discuss a subject of credentialing as I have been hearing more and more about blunders and problems in the world of plastic and cosmetic surgery. It certainly goes without questions that as the world of medicine is changing and insurance reimbursements are continuing to decline, so are more non-qualified doctors and even NON-physicians getting into this market to cash in. OMG, this has become an epidemic and so many innocent patients are paying the price.
Becoming a plastic surgeon is a life long endeavor that requires, not only years of education and training but, ongoing learning and experience as well. Only after four years of medical school, 5 years of a general surgery residency, 2 years of plastic surgery training and another year of an additional fellowship in a plastic surgical specialty, did I become eligible to qualify for board certification! Then it required passing both a written and subsequent oral examination to finally meet the high standards to become a board certified plastic surgeon. But it wasn’t over as my entire career has required ongoing training, education and examinations to maintain my status.
Unfortunately, many states, including Michigan, do not regulate who does what and where. Your obstetrician or family doctor, for example, can perform procedures in their offices that would scare you if you realized how little training and experience they had! And companies, such as breast implant or laser manufacturers don’t help as they will sell to anyone who will buy from them. Although most hospitals require only board certified plastic surgeons to have privileges, this does not stop all the others from having their own facilities and operating there. We are then left to pick up the pieces but only after it is often too late:(.
When searching for a surgeon, make sure they are certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery and that they have full privileges (in this specialty) at a fully credentialed hospital. I would encourage any of you seeking to have any plastic or cosmetic procedures in the future to consider this, and although cost may be a factor to take shortcuts, the price to be paid if disaster strikes will be so much more in the long run.
I wish you all a wonderful day!