Plastic surgery is uniquely situated in the medical industry. Anyone with a medical degree can legally practice cosmetic surgery, regardless of their training or field of specialty. In the past, this was viewed as a joke. The thought of your dentist doing a boob job was funny. But now as more deaths are being reported from botched plastic surgery procedures, done by doctors that have little to no training in cosmetic surgery, doctors are concerned.
There is an alarming rise in uncertified plastic surgery procedures going on, many resulting in botched procedures with side effects ranging from poor outcomes to death.
All surgery holds some degree of risk. But this goes down considerably when the procedures are performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon. Board certification is a third-party verification that states a physician has the skill, knowledge, and experience to practice plastic surgery.
To become board certified means earning a medical degree from an accredited medical school, as well as participating in a 3-5 year full-time residency program that is sanctioned by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.
But many “plastic surgeons” aren’t board certified. They’re general practitioners, dentists, or family doctors. They don’t have any official training in plastic surgery, which is dangerous for patients, as these procedures require a high level of skill.
It’s incredibly tempted to doctors though to enter the plastic surgery field. It’s lucrative, and with the rising popularity of plastic surgery, there is an endless supply of patients.
Doctors feel now is the time to implement stricter guidelines and standards to prevent untrained doctors from performing plastic surgery procedures. Required board certification, or ending the rule that allows anyone with a medical degree to perform those procedures are a start.
For now, plastic surgeons urge patients to only go to doctors that are board certified. This is for their own safety. Check all credentials too, as there is an increase in people who have no medical degree, or a revokes/expired one, who are performing these procedures illegally.