USA Today Editorial: Limit Who Can Do Cosmetic Surgery

The following are excerpts from a fantastic editorial in USA Today last week:

Though there are always people in any profession who’ll put greed above ethics and do work they might be ill-prepared to handle, few can do as much harm as doctors. The hardest thing to understand is why neither the states nor the medical profession has taken stronger steps to control this dangerous practice.

The roots of the problem lie in the way the profession is set up, combined with the advent of private surgical centers and medical advertising. Once doctors are licensed by states as physicians, there’s little to stop them from doing operations outside their specialty and beyond their training. In Florida, for example, “you can do anything in your office that you can get a patient to consent to,” says Miami plastic surgeon Adam Rubinstein. For the patient, “it’s sort of like going to a Chinese restaurant to get Italian food.” At least a restaurant choice isn’t likely to kill or disfigure you.

Established medical specialty boards do certify doctors, such as plastic surgeons and other specialists, and for many years hospitals served as the gatekeepers to prevent physicians from jumping outside their specialties. The vast majority of hospitals won’t give them privileges to operate. But today, with greater ability to perform operations in private offices and surgical centers, more medical doctors and dentists are bypassing the gatekeepers and doing unfamiliar procedures. Some are even training others to wield the plastic surgeon’s scalpel, sometimes in seminars that last mere days.

Unsuspecting patients are unaware of the danger. And with increasing numbers of people seeking to look younger and thinner, unscrupulous doctors have plenty of consumers to prey on.

To read the entire editorial, click here.

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Posted in: Plastic Surgery News

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