Researching Top Doctors
These days, it is becoming more and more common for medical doctors to limit their practice to certain surgical procedures, or the treatment of certain conditions. One big reason for this is that it decreases their ability for malpractice (lawsuits) while increasing their expertise/experience. Thus, they become more recognizable in their field of expertise throughout the community as well as nationwide.
Cosmetic Surgery and Board Certification
It is important to understand that no single plastic surgeon will master or have special expertise in every surgical procedure/condition related to plastic surgery. Therefore, finding plastic surgeons who are mostly recognized and referred to in regards to certain surgical procedures and who have a solid background in their professional career is key.
Although plastic surgery certification is most common some surgeons are certified in otolaryngology or ophthalmology specializing strictly in facial plastic surgery and reconstruction. Such surgical procedures include eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty, facial reconstructive surgery, oculoplasty/ophthalmic, and other facial cosmetic surgical procedures to name a few.
In addition, not all otolaryngologist have special expertise in facial cosmetic surgery. As a matter of fact, only a few do. The three most commonly used fields in plastic surgery and their board certification statuses are plastic surgery, surgery of the hand, and otolaryngology. However, some plastic surgeons are double, triple, and even quadruple board certified.
What To Do When Hiring a Cosmetic Surgeon
1. When choosing a plastic surgeon forget about the phone book.
2. Use caution when approaching websites that offer free ratings or claim to have comprehensive free doctor credential information. You should, in reality, expect to see negative ratings for every doctor.
3. Beware of plastic surgeons who advertise a lot. Top-notch plastic surgeons are extremely busy for a reason and often do not need to advertise or attract much more clientele then they already have.
4. Make sure that the surgeon is board certified in the respective field.
5. Every plastic surgeon has a special interest area of expertise, find those areas and make sure they are the areas you are looking for.
6. Generally speaking, the more depth in their professional history report the more experience they have.
Inside A Top Plastic Surgeon’s Professional History
Years of practice in a specialty field, academic appointments, hospital appointments, fellowship training, membership affiliations, awards, reputation, special interest/expertise area, malpractice judgment(s), disciplinary actions, board certification status, and recognition from peers for certain surgical procedures are some of the most critical factors for finding top-rated plastic surgeons. Yet, all this information will not guarantee that you will receive the highest quality of care; rather, it will increase your chances of receiving higher quality care regarding your cosmetic medical needs.
The most important specialty member organizations for plastic surgeons who are members of the American Board of Medical Specialists (ABMS) are the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American College of Surgeons, and American Society of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons. However, many other organizations exist, although none have the same depth and requirements as these do.
It’s important to understand that any cosmetic surgeon can become a member of these societies therefore-although membership status is essential, it by no means indicates that the surgeon holds the highest standards or expertise in plastic surgery.
Researching a Surgeon
Although it is true that the Internet has abundant websites offering information on medical doctors’ credentials, you will certainly want – and need – more than just a license number, education, free anonymous ratings, and contact information. If your Internet search is growing tiresome, consider digging deeper using these resources:
1. Federation of State Medical Boards
2. American Board of Medical Specialties
3. The American Medical Association
4. Your local state medical board