When a physician or nurse need the services of a doctor, especially outside their specialty, they will first tap into their network for referrals and then they will likely check the credentials of that physician. I highly recommend that the general public follow the same protocol. Accreditation boards, such as the American Board of Plastic Surgery, theAmerican Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, certify the credentials of a physician. These not-for-profit organizations monitor the work and facilities of the physician on a regular basis to determine if the doctor has met certain criteria.
Credentials and professional designations – such as my appointment as Assistant Clinical Professor of Plastic Surgery at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Chief of Plastic Surgery at St. John’s Riverside Hospital – will verify that a physician has passed stringent board certification guidelines, but those credentials and designations won’t tell you if he is really good at what he does.
Technical skills – in particular surgical skills – are measured by proven results. Most patients want to see “before and after” photos for the procedure they are considering. This is probably the most important step in the research process for the patient. However, equally important are patient referrals and testimonials. I can think of no higher professional recognition than physician/colleague referrals. Gaining the respect of colleagues cannot be achieved by passing a test – it is earned.
Over the course of my seventeen-year career – which has focused exclusively on plastic surgery – I have operated on 57 physicians – four of which are female plastic surgeons, 130 family members and 160 nurses. It is most gratifying when my own colleagues put that faith in me. When selecting a surgeon, do your homework; in particular, ask about colleague referrals. The answer to your questions will help you make an informed decision.
Please feel free to contact me in my Manhattan, Westchester or Roslyn, Long Island offices at 1-888-PSURGERY. I am happy to answer any questions you have regarding Plastic Surgery procedures. I can also be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.