Who Is Your Plastic Surgeon?
Nowadays there seem to be endless possibilities when looking for a qualified physician to perform your plastic surgery. Here are some considerations about different types of physicians whom you might come across when researching who’s the best one for you:
- M.D., D.O., or other degree: An MD degree is “Medical Doctor”, conferred after successful graduation from medical school, while the DO is “Doctor of Osteopathy”, a degree obtained from a school of osteopathic medicine. Either type of degree is required to enter into internship or residency training program in medicine or surgery. Some offices employ non-physician service providers such as nurses (RN, LPN) or physician assistants (PA) .
- Internship, residency or fellowship training: The first year of clinical training in a residency program is the internship, and residency is the hands on, practical clinical training in a medical or surgical specialty. A fellowship is additional subspecialty training in an area such as plastic surgery or aesthetic surgery. Requirements for fellowship training include successful completion of a residency program. In New York State, physicians obtain their license to practice “Medicine and Surgery” regardless of which specialty or residency – surgical or non-surgical – they pursue.
- Board Certification: In the US there are specialty boards approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) that maintain standards of education and training before allowing physicians to be board certified. Board certification requires completion of an approved residency and passing written and oral examinations. The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) is the only board that certifies plastic surgeons in plastic surgery. Other boards, such as for Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose and Throat – ENT), Ophthalmology and Dermatology, certify physicians in their respective fields. The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery is not accredited by the ACGME, nor is there a residency program in cosmetic surgery.
- What is a “Plastic Surgeon”? Plastic surgery may be performed by physicians who have trained in a variety of medical and surgical programs, including plastic surgery per se, otolaryngology, dermatology,and ophthalmology, among others. Plastic surgeons may complete an aesthetic fellowship, otolaryngologists may choose facial plastic surgery fellowship, and ophthalmologists may pursue an oculoplastic fellowship for additional training in specific types of aesthetic surgery. Plastic surgeons receive comprehensive education and training to perform aesthetic and reconstructive surgery, including surgery on the face, breast and entire body. Whereas ophthalmologists will be limited to eyelid lifts or brow lift, and ENT’s to facial plastic surgery, plastic surgeons may perform all cosmetic procedures including breast augmentation, breast lift, eyelid lift, rhinoplasty, facelift, liposuction and tummy tuck, among others.
To check if your physician is board certified, visit:
- Plastic surgery: The American Board of Plastic Surgery
- Otolaryngology (ENT): The American Board of Otolaryngology
- Ophthalmology: The American Board of Ophthalmology
- Dermatology: The American Board of Dermatology
Dr. Olivia Hutchinson is a board certified plastic surgeon in NYC with fellowship training in aesthetic surgery of the face, breast and body. Her practice on Manhattan’s Upper East Side boasts a fully certified AAAASF Operating Room for the safety, privacy and comfort of her patients. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Hutchinson, please contact us or call us at (212) 452-1400.