In the current health care climate of diminishing reimbursements, more and more physicians are performing cosmetic surgery treatments and procedures. Unfortunately, many of these physicians are not plastic surgeons and have not undergone the same rigorous training as board-certified plastic surgeons. All patients should take certain steps prior to scheduling a consultation to ensure that their physician has the highest qualifications to perform cosmetic surgery.
- Ask if the doctor is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Membership in the ASPS ensures that the doctor is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and meets requirements for ongoing continuing medical education.
- Confirm that the doctor is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Merely hearing that a doctor is board certified does not indicate which board has certified that doctor. There is only one board, the American Board of Plastic Surgery, that is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties to certify surgeons in the field of plastic surgery.
- Find out more about the surgeon’s specific hospital privileges. Although some procedures are commonly performed in an office or ambulatory surgical center, it is important to learn whether the surgeon has the same privileges in an accredited hospital. Hospital credentialing committees carefully evaluate a surgeon’s training and competency for specific procedures. If a surgeon performs a procedure in an office or surgical center, but does not have privileges to perform the same procedure in a hospital, it may be because he was deemed unqualified to perform that procedure.
Taking these steps before scheduling a consultation with a cosmetic surgeon will ensure that you find a plastic surgeon with the highest qualifications.