Tuesday, August 08, 2006
I bet most of you did not now that the moniker for Otolayngolgy (Head & Neck Surgery), "ENT" no longer stood for Ear, Nose, and Throat. Somehow along the way it's turned into "ear, nose, and tummy-tucks" as otolaryngologists have sometimes ventured into cosmetic surgery below the neckline.
As insurance reimbursement for their traditional procedures have diminished, they (like a number of other physicians) have decided to reinvent themselves as Plastic Surgeons. A number of years ago the discipline of "Facial Plastic Surgery" was created. The title was chosen somewhat deliberately to confuse patients & restricting the use of this was unsuccessfully litigated at the time by the Plastic Surgery societies (the courts in that decision would not grant a copyright for the term plastic surgeon).
Sometimes the grass isn't always greener as in this story here, from Muncie, Indiana. In this episode an ENT and the medical center which gave him operating privledges are being sued for over $1 million after complications from a breast surgery. The suit says Dr. Jung-Il Park posed as a certified cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon at St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare Systems, but instead is a certified ENT. I don't know the specifics of this case, but it sure sounds like they better get their checkbooks out, as this is going to be extremely hard to explain to a jury.
Most Plastic Surgeons do not begrudge our ENT colleagues who practice plastic surgery-type procedures of the head & neck. Raised eyebrows, groans, and criticism do however follow when ENT's, Dentists/Oral Surgeons, and others start performing procedures many would argue they are undertrained to perform.