There’s no shortage of confusion and ignorance when it comes to plastic surgeons and cosmetic enhancement in general. The amount of misinformation out there would be harmless, if not for the fact that people tend to make decisions based on things they heard from a TV show or from a friend of a friend. This can lead to making some spectacularly bad decisions, not to mention turning around and spreading that information to others. If you want to understand a bit more about the profession and what a physician has to do to become a doctor in this field, here is the knowledge you need.
To understand where plastic surgeons are coming from, you first need to understand the field itself. Many people mistakenly believe that the term “plastic” is somehow related to breast implants or the plasticky look patients might be accused of after too many trips under the knife. This is, of course, ridiculous. They aren’t going to name the specialty after a snide joke. The word is actually derived from the Greek root, which means molding, which is exactly what a cosmetic surgical specialist aims to do. Their goal is to introduce an improved aesthetic to the patient through a number of ways.
Plastic Surgeons and Training
It takes an enormous effort to become a surgeon in any field, let alone cosmetic surgery. An individual must attend and graduate medical school like any other physician and move into a five to seven year training course in their post graduate work to be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons. It is worth noting that only those physicians with such certification are the only such doctors you should trust with your procedure. Anyone with an M.D. after their name can perform any surgical procedure they wish, but that doesn’t mean you should entrust your health to them.
Questions You Should Ask
If you’re planning to have a cosmetic enhancement procedure, it’s important that you go into your decision making process with as much information as possible. That may mean posing some pointed questions to some plastic surgeons, but it is worth it. Ask your doctor if they are board certified by the ABPS, whether or not they have hospital privileges for the procedure in question (they should), how much experience they have performing the operation, and anything else you want to know about the procedure. Don’t choose a doctor until you’re satisfied that you have gotten the right answers to those questions.