Doctors are always perceived to be very wealthy. It’s not widely known that becoming a physician takes time and money. Most doctors study for four years at medical school, then spend anywhere between two and eight years learning their trade. During that time, they accumulate a lot of debt. They must also spend money to establish and maintain a practice once they have completed their residency. When managed health care arrived in the Clinton era, doctors were left with little money to pay for their medical cosmetic surgery services.
The managed care agencies also resisted paying the minimal amount they allowed. In order to receive any payment, some doctors had to hire a second person to work in their offices to be able to push these agencies. What has all this to do with board accreditation? To supplement their office income, many doctors attend weekend cosmetic surgery courses to supplement their income. Doctors don’t need to deal with insurance companies because cosmetic surgery is always paid in cash. Although this may alleviate financial difficulties for doctors, it does not necessarily make them qualified to perform complicated cosmetic surgery procedures. It takes qualified plastic surgeons many years to master these complex cosmetic surgery procedures. Plastic surgery residency is longer than any other medical specialty.
Anyone in this country with an M.D. In this country, anyone with a M.D. There are no regulations on who can do what. Many doctors, even those in other specialties than plastic surgery, now refer to themselves as “board certified surgeons” in their advertisements. Although they may be certified in another medical specialty, this is not necessarily plastic surgery. Twenty-four medical specialties are recognized by the American Medical Association. Plastic surgeons can only be trained and certified through the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Only plastic surgeons certified through the ABPS are qualified to perform the surgery. They have undergone rigorous training and passed certifying examinations.