This communication is in two parts. The first is for patients and the second for doctors. As far as patients are concerned, how do you go about finding and trusting a cosmetic surgeon? Some of the worst ways to choose a doctor of any kind is the yellow pages (anyone can advertise) and price (cheap is not always a good thing). The best way is to be referred to the cosmetic surgeon by someone who has seen him and is happy with the results of the procedure, knows he is available and can handle a side-effect should one occur.
The importance of checking credentials
You should not only feel comfortable with him, but you should feel free to ask questions. Has he had the proper training? Since there is not really a category of board-certification for cosmetic surgery, what is his background, and if he is board-certified, in what specialty? How did he get his training to become what he calls himself? Has he performed the procedure you are asking for? How many times? Any side-effects? Is he available and will take care of any side-effects? Can and will he show you pictures of before and after patients that he has performed the procedure?
These are the minimum requirements for questions to ask and you must be satisfied with the answers. If you are not, move on. It is your body, your face and if there are problems there may be consequences you don’t want.
Now, for doctors. There are a number of doctors who either want to stop practicing their specialty and start cosmetic procedures or just add cosmetic procedures to what you are already doing. There are a number of ways to get training. Sometimes you can get doctors in your area to allow you to spend time in their office watching and helping with procedures. There are also courses offered by various groups—but these are not all created equal. Check them out.
There are courses taught by doctors who are not specialists in the area you are seeking and some are not even licensed. Some of the courses are didactic only and some have hands-on but be very careful. If you are allowed ½ syringe of filling material and 20 units of botulinum toxin to treat one patient you are not by any means an expert and not ready to add these types of procedures in your office.
If you can find a doctor who specializes in the procedures in which you are interested and will come to your office and help train you on your patients that is probably the best way. It saves you time and money out of the office and you need not take courses you are not interested in and are not planning to add to your practice. It is also much less expensive because you are still in the office seeing patients, the fee charged is much less than any weekend course. Additionally, your patients can see you are actually trying to train and learn from an expert to help them.
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