Degrees, and Board Certification: Page 5
Those 800 numbers
At the end of any magazine article on plastic
surgery, there will be a side bar with advice on how to find a good
plastic surgeon. The side bar
"Call 1-800-Find-a-Surgeon to make sure your doctor is board
certified, or to find a board certified doctor in your area."
You now know that almost everything you read about board
certification is generated by one group of doctors trying to wrest the plastic
surgery business away from a competing groups of doctors. So you
also now know that the 800 number in the side bar will
connect you with the main office of the board that certified the plastic
surgeon who provided the background material for that magazine article.
you call and ask whether your doctor is "board certified," you’ll
be told "no" by the helpful voice on the line if your doctor is
certified by one of the other plastic surgery boards.
If you ask for a list of all the "board certified plastic
surgeons" in your area, you’ll only be given names of doctors
certified by the one board mentioned in the side bar.
If the side bar has more than one 800 number,
which one are you going to call? To
save you from having to read all those side bars, at the end of this
chapter I'll give you the phone numbers and Web site addresses of all the
boards we've mentioned, along with some advice on how to use the
You do want your doctor to be board certified.
Confirming his certification provides you with good research about
your doctor's basic medical training.
Don't be dazzled by a wall full of diplomas from
the various plastic surgery professional societies.
They don't give you crucial information about the surgeon's concern
for you and his competence in the operating room.
Other points to remember:
When an advertisement or article stresses the importance of
finding a plastic surgeon certified by one particular board,
If your plastic surgeon disparages another doctor because
that doctor is certified by a different board, lace up your running shoes.
When you ask to see some of your plastic surgeon's before
and after photographs, and he leans back in his chair, points with his
thumb to his board certification diploma, and says, "This is all the
evidence of my skill that you need," get out of there as fast as you
Be wary of a doctor whose advertising hypes board
certification in a way that you now know to be unrealistic.
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