The office is nice, the doctor is charming and there are impressive-looking certificates on the wall. Finally, you have decided to take the hard-earned money you’ve been saving to get the cosmetic surgery procedure you’ve always dreamed of. Since your doctor has offered the service, you just assume that he or she is a board-certified plastic surgeon.
Don’t be so sure.
With insurance reimbursements harder to come by, more doctors are wading into the more lucrative (and mostly out-of-pocket) cosmetic surgery field — regardless if they are board-certified for that specialty or not. And patients are paying the price. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number of dissatisfied or disfigured patients revisiting operations to fix botched jobs performed by unqualified doctors is on the rise. Incapacitating Injuries, as well as fatalities, have also been reported.
According to the New York Times, there is no law in the U.S. that requires doctors to practice within the specialty fields they were trained in. Generally, an American Board of Medical Specialties approved specialty certification requires a three-year internship coupled with extensive exams.
Only four states, including Florida, demand that doctors specify which specialty board certifications they have in their advertisements. Surgical injury in Florida and across the nation should never happen, but sadly, it does. Despite Florida having some of the toughest regulations in the nation regarding cosmetic surgery, 32 people still died in the past decade of surgery-related complications — almost the same number of deaths reported in the 90’s, before tougher regulations were enacted.
A physician’s first duty is to “do no harm.” If you or somebody you know has been injured, disfigured, or incapacitated by an unqualified doctor performing cosmetic surgery, the Jacksonville personal injury attorneys at Farah & Farah would like to hear from you. Call us at (866) 794-7530 for a free consultation and to learn more about your legal rights.
Sources: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/31/health/non-specialists-expand-into-lucrative-cosmetic-surgery-procedures.html?_r=2; http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2011-06-26/news/fl-hk-plastic-surgery-deaths-20110621_1_cosmetic-surgery-plastic-surgery-fewer-deaths