Does Your Plastic Surgeon Make The Cut?

doctor surgeon with mask

In order for a physician to achieve surgical skill, it takes dedication to knowing the human body, several years of training to learn how to handle the body’s tissue, and most importantly, recognizing when surgery is indicated and not indicated.  For patients, the key to finding out who has appropriate skills is to ask your potential surgeon some basic questions:

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  1. How commonly do you perform this operation?
  2. Do you instruct other doctors or students in learning about this procedure?
  3. Can you show me photos of other patients with similar body styles to mine, that have long-term consistent excellent results?

In choosing a surgeon, the doctor should be friendly to you and your family, available to answer all your questions to your satisfaction and demonstrate that they have appropriate knowledge of the procedure that you want performed.

Your surgeon should be confident, not cocky, compassionate to your needs, and appear to genuinely care about you as a potential patient.  This is the day of choices and if you do not like what you are hearing or feeling from the physician, find one that is willing to address your concerns.

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You are not buying a loaf of bread here! Surgery is serious business, with the potential for tremendous repercussions if poor choices are made by you or the doctor.  Make sure that you are not just rushing into a procedure that you do not fully understand.

Ask about potential complications, risks and benefits and just how long the post-operative period will last. Finally, make sure that the doctor has discussed any prescription medications that you will need to take and has reviewed the post-operative instructions.  These discussions should be reinforced with written instructions that you sign off on and that you understand.

Surgeons and Board Certification

These items and more will be covered by board-certified physicians. While there are many different boards in regard to the field of plastic surgery, there is only one board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) in plastic surgery.  Each plastic surgery program in the United States instructs resident training in Aesthetic and Breast, Craniomaxillofacial, Hand and Extremities, and Skin.  That being said, just because you have your board certification in plastic surgery does not mean that you have expertise in every single procedure.

Why Having A Board Certified Doctor Matters

All surgeons, regardless of their specialty, have operations which they do more frequently.  Nevertheless, not all physicians that perform surgical procedures are in fact trained in surgery.  In my opinion, I would not concede that a physician that has limited or no formal training in general surgery or another surgical specialty can suddenly start performing surgical tasks and think that they are competent. This is why knowing about board certification is such an important component in choosing the right doctor for yourself or your family.

You can check – for free – if your doctor is board certified here.

Remember, it’s your body. If you perform your due diligence, you will be able to form a lasting, competent doctor-patient relationship that keeps you healthy and enhances your life.

 

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4.5M Patients Affected By Hacked Hospital Network

CHS network map

If you’ve been to the hospital within the last five years, the latest incidence of national cyber attack just may affect you. Earlier today, Community Health Systems announced that its systems were hacked, compromising the information of 4.5 million patients.

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Community Health Systems is one of the nation’s largest hospital networks, with 206 hospitals in 29 states.

The data breach affects anyone treated by a physician connected to the Community Health Systems network in the last five years.

In a statement to Reuters, an official of CHS said it was too soon to confirm what group was behind the attack.

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“While attribution of this incident is still being determined by a range of partners, we caution against leaping to premature conclusions about who or how many actors are behind these activities,” said the official.

However, the Chicago Tribune reports that Tomi Galin, spokeswoman for Community Health Systems, said the company has reason to believe a group of hackers from China may be the cause.

Medical and clinical information was not stolen, but according to CHS’ regulatory filing the stolen information includes patient names, birth dates, addresses, telephone numbers and Social Security numbers. These are all pieces of information that put the 4.5 million affected patients at risk for identity theft.

Following the attack ,Community Health Systems has removed the malware from its systems and is taking steps to ensure another attack does not happen. They are notifying all patients, as required by law, and similar to Target who had a huge data breach earlier this year, CHS also plans to offer identity theft protection to the millions affected.

To see an interactive map of hospitals in the Community Health Systems network, click here.