On behalf of the 19,000 members of the American Academy of Dermatology, I am writing to express concern regarding the recent study by Dorfman et al related to plastic and cosmetic surgery hashtags on Instagram.1 While the results of this study are informative, the presentation of those results and the conclusions of the authors are misleading in implying that board-certified dermatologists are not qualified to perform cosmetic surgical procedures. The hashtags investigated by the authors include a range of general and specific terms that relate to both plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery procedures. As only 9 posts were indicated to be from dermatologists, and further data as to the nature of these posts are not provided, the authors’ conclusions regarding the specialty of dermatology are unsupported. Several cosmetic procedures, including liposuction, injection of botulinum toxin or soft-tissue fillers, and laser resurfacing, are safely and effectively used by dermatologists in the office setting.2,3 Further, the specialty of dermatology has contributed significantly to the advancement of cosmetic surgery to the benefit of multiple medical specialties, and dermatologists continue to innovate and lead clinical trials in new injectable, laser, and energy-based cosmetic procedures.3 The American Academy of Dermatology agrees that it is important for patients undergoing cosmetic procedures to receive care from a trained, board-certified physician. While we appreciate the attention this study brings to this issue, it is misleading to suggest that cosmetic surgery provided by dermatologists is inappropriate or would lead to poor patient outcomes. As experts in the medical and surgical treatment of skin, hair and nails, dermatologists certified by the American Board of Dermatology or the American Osteopathic Board of Dermatology have the education, training, and experience to safely perform cosmetic surgery and provide excellent results for patients. Current ACGME (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education) Program Requirements for Graduate Medical Education in Dermatology require residency training in cosmetic techniques including liposuction, scar revision, laser resurfacing, hair transplants, invasive vein therapies, botulinum toxin injections, and soft-tissue augmentation.4 We agree with the authors that not all individuals offering cosmetic procedures are qualified to do so, despite claims to the contrary. In fact, dermatologists are often called to care for patients who experience negative results when unqualified providers attempt these procedures. We suggest the data from this study support the importance of patients first considering a board-certified physician, and then further investigating a doctor’s training, credentials, and experience before deciding if a particular physician is the right choice for them. Cosmetic surgery is practiced by physicians from a number of medical specialties; the outcome of any cosmetic procedure ultimately depends on the skill and experience of the healthcare provider. Unfortunately, the presentation of this study’s findings misrepresents the qualifications of board-certified dermatologists as providers of cosmetic surgery. Disclosures The author declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and publication of this article. Funding The author received no financial support for the research, authorship, and publication of this article. REFERENCES 1. Dorfman RG , Vaca EE , Mahmood E , Fine NA , Schierle CF . Plastic surgery-related hashtag utilization on instagram: implications for education and marketing . Aesthet Surg J . 2018 ; 38 ( 3 ): 332 - 338 . 2. Starling J III , Thosani MK , Coldiron BM . Determining the safety of office-based surgery: what 10 years of Florida data and 6 years of Alabama data reveal . Dermatol Surg . 2012 ; 38 ( 2 ): 171 - 177 . 3. Hanke CW , Moy RL , Roenigk RK , et al. Current status of surgery in dermatology . J Am Acad Dermatol . 2013 ; 69 ( 6 ): 972 - 1001 . 4. Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education . http://www.acgme.org/Specialties/Program-Requirements-and-FAQs-and-Applications/pfcatid/3/Dermatology. Accessed October 26 2017 . © 2018 The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Inc. Reprints and permission: firstname.lastname@example.org This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/open_access/funder_policies/chorus/standard_publication_model)
Aesthetic Surgery Journal – Oxford University Press
Published: Jun 6, 2018
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