Plastic Surgeons: The Rock Stars Of Medicine?

I was asked by Medscape (WebMD’s sister site for doctors) to write an article about the career of plastic surgery.  How hard is it to become a plastic surgeon?  What does it take?  What types of people should consider plastic surgery as a career choice?  Exactly what do plastic surgeons do, anyways?  Well, here’s what I came up with:

I once had a plastic surgeon tell me, “We are the rock stars of medicine. Plastic surgeons get all the action, all the glory, and all the money.”

No, I don’t really believe that, but the public does. Television shows like Dr. 90210 and Nip/Tuck have created a persona of plastic surgeons as slick, arrogant doctors who wear Armani suits and flirt with their 20-year-old patients.

The reality is far from this. The majority of plastic surgeons are earnest physicians who perform a wide variety of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, ranging from cleft lip operations to complex tendon repairs to breast reconstruction after mastectomy. The field is truly vast in scope.

The term “plastic surgery” comes from the Greek word plastikos, which means “to mold.” To become a plastic surgeon, you must complete 3-6 years of general surgery residency followed by 3 years of plastic surgery residency. Many plastic surgeons then complete a 1-year postgraduate fellowship in one of the following fields: hand surgery, craniofacial surgery, aesthetic surgery, microsurgery, burn surgery, or pediatric plastic surgery.

Plastic surgery is one of the most competitive fields of medicine to enter. In 2012, there were 300 applicants for only 121 open residency positions. To get into the field, you need to be one of the top students in your class and be willing to complete a long, arduous residency process.

This is just the beginning of the article.  To read the rest, please click HERE to visit the Medscape website.

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Posted in: Dr. Anthony Youn in the Media

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