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:
- How commonly do you perform this operation?
- Do you instruct other doctors or students in learning about this procedure?
- 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.
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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