When you decide to have a cosmetic procedure, you research it don’t you? But, what do you know about the person performing the procedure? Sure, you checked to see if he was board certified, but have you thought about how he got there? The truth is that his path was long and arduous and he never really stops traveling. Here is the typical journey of a plastic surgeon:
Obviously, he has to go to college. He studies pre-med as an undergraduate. After four years, he successfully obtains a Bachelor’s Degree in one of the common pre-med majors like biology or chemistry. Then, he has to apply to medical school. The one he goes to must be accredited or all of his work will have been for naught. For the next four years, he studies general medicine.
After eight years of school, he’s still not finished. For the next five or six years, he continues his training as a resident in an actual hospital or medical facility. For the last couple of years of his training, he concentrates on the intricacies of plastic surgery. Once he completes his residency, he can apply to the American Board of Plastic Surgery for his certification. To achieve this, he must pass the Board’s rigorous practical and written exams.
After officially becoming a plastic surgeon, he can choose to specialize even further. Whether he specializes or not, the ABPS requires that he continues his education and stays up on the most recent advancements to renew his certification. Once he has achieved this step, he membership in a prestigious organization like the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Memberships like this further his education, research, and networking with other physicians.
So, as you can see, it took your surgeon a long time to get where he is today. But, that he makes this journey is very important. Just because a physician is a surgeon, it does not mean that he can be a plastic surgeon. When you are looking for one, make sure he has these credentials. Diplomas from his accredited schools as well as his ABPS board certification should be displayed in his office. If you don’t see them, ask him or, if you don’t feel comfortable doing that, research online for his credentials.
While your plastic surgeon may have all the credentials and training and he may even be a specialist in your procedure, it still doesn’t make him a great surgeon for you. Do you feel comfortable talking to him about whatever it is you don’t like about yourself? Seeking out cosmetic surgery can be embarrassing and is often a sensitive subject. A good plastic surgeon knows this and will be able to set your mind at ease in a gentle and informative manner.
Some things can’t be taught in school and a good bedside manner is one of them. Because the issue is that you want to make a fundamental change to your appearance, you want to carefully choose the plastic surgeon that’s going to be making the incisions.