Ethical, Credibility Issues Surround TV Plastic Surgery
The American Medical Association and a growing number of certified plastic surgeons are questioning the credibility and aptitude of plastic surgeons who lack board certification and appear on reality television shows, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Physicians appearing on reality TV shows about plastic surgery are criticized by their colleagues for putting a greater emphasis on the results of a procedure rather than its associated pain, complications and risks.
In July, the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery published the first study on the influence reality TV shows have on plastic surgery. It found that the shows have a direct influence on first-time patients who opt for a procedure.
Richard D'Amico, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, said doctors on reality TV shows "are the most dangerous" because it is unclear whether they "have the true credentials or the expertise." However, he noted that "the public perceives they have credibility because they are on TV."
D'Amico said that any doctor can perform plastic surgery but that a qualified plastic surgeon would be certified with the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Meanwhile, the AMA's Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs in 2005 said reality TV shows about cosmetic surgery raise ethical issues, including how the physician-patient relationship is portrayed and whether the information for viewers is accurate.
The council recommended that doctors refuse to participate on shows that provide misconceptions and that medical societies take disciplinary action against doctors who participate in such shows (Roan, Los Angeles Times, 11/20).