Misinformation Published About Choosing a Cosmetic Surgeon

Lately, there has been misinformation published about choosing a qualified cosmetic surgeon. The information out there suggests that you should only choose a board certified surgeon whose board is sanctioned by the ABMS. This is false. Here is a letter that the president of the American Osteopathic Association sent to USA Today in response to an article the newspaper published last week. This is one example of why this is indeed misinformation.

“USA TODAY’s investigative report on the training of cosmetic surgeons misleadingly suggests that board certification occurs only “when a doctor has met all of the qualifications required by one of the American Board of Medical Specialties’ 24 member boards.” While educating your readers about the qualifications of physicians is a commendable effort, the article mistakenly omits any mention of the certification boards for osteopathic physicians (DOs).

DOs, like medical doctors (MDs), are fully licensed to prescribe medication and practice in all specialty areas, including surgery. It should have been noted that they may apply for certification through one of the 18 certifying boards of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). A DO may become certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery upon recommendation from the American Osteopathic Board of Surgery, which typically requires four years of accredited residency training in general surgery and two in plastic surgery, as well as passage of a board exam.

By 2013, AOA board-certified doctors will be required to maintain osteopathic continuous certification through ongoing practice assessment and performance improvement — a testament to the association’s commitment to helping osteopathic physicians meet and exceed industry and regulatory standards.”

Martin S. Levine,
President, American Osteopathic Association

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