Questionable “experts” in tabloids

Recently, one of our favorite anesthesiologists brought in a tabloid magazine for our amusement. It features 3 buxom young females on its cover, with the breathless headline “Top 5 Hollywood Plastic Surgeons Tell All”. (It certainly looks like all 3 ladies have had a little help from their local plastic surgeon.)

I wasn’t particularly interested in the opinions, but I was quite interested to see who was selected as the “Top 5”, as these rankings are usually purely arbitrary at best, and completely unreliable at worst. I started thinking about the surgeons I would recommend in Los Angeles, those with excellent reputations, stellar work, and real contributions to our specialty. Then I read the article. Much to my surprise, not a single surgeon that I thought of was in the tabloid’s list!

The article listed 6 physicians. So, I spent a few minutes researching each of them by reading their CV, as posted on their own websites, to find their qualifications.

Of the 6 “Hollywood top plastic surgeons” in this article:

– only 2 are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Two others are ENT / facial plastic trained. Facial plastic surgeons are certainly reasonable to ask regarding comments on cosmetic surgery of the face, but not for comments on plastic surgery of the body, as it is outside their field of expertise.

– One is a D.O. who does not appear to be board certified in Plastic Surgery. The other is a chiropractor with no surgical training.

– Three of the 6 appear to have less than 10 years experience in practice.

– Two of the 6 aren’t even practicing in California, let alone Hollywood!

Bottom line: beware of so-called experts in tabloid magazines. Once again, if you want a real plastic surgeon, check their credentials for Board Certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. If you are Canadian (like me!), look for certification by the Royal College of Surgeons and Physicians of Canada in Plastic Surgery.

If your doctor doesn’t have one of those certificates hanging on the wall, and claims to be a board-certified Plastic Surgeon….then run, don’t walk, to the nearest exit.

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