Thursday, April 19, 2007

Does it make sense for an E.R. doctor to do your breast surgery?

An Orlando,Florida radio station's contest offering a free breast implant is drawing controversy over both the contest and the "surgeon" who will be performing the operation. Real Radio 104.1 is offering the breast augmentation to the woman who parties during a so-called slumber party. The rules: Spend 30 hours with radio personality Tiffany (click for NSFW gallery) in front of a camera broadcast live on the Internet. The station website says "the girl that parties the hardest" wins.

An article from the news outlet Florida Today is available titled "Breast implant contest doc on probation"

The man chosen to perform the surgery, an osteopathic doctor with a licence under probation.

Now what specialty do you think the doctor is?

He's a Plastic Surgeon of course, right? No

Well, ok... at least he's a Surgeon then? No

Is he at least a MD? ....Well apparently he underwent an osteopathic residency in emergency medicine in Ohio twenty years ago. Does that sound kosher enough for you?

What you have here is another example of a non Plastic Surgeon (who I repeat is not even a trained surgeon)who promotes his expertise in way that makes it hard for patients to figure out exactly what he is. Like many of the fringe group of specialties trying to reinvent themselves as cosmetic surgeons, he performs office surgery while (according to the Florida Medical board website) holding no hospital privileges to perform surgery.

This "loophole" is something that has been discussed, where in the future you may actually be required to have similar credentials in a hospital to do surgical procedures in your office. This makes too much sense not to be widely embraced, that I'm sure it never happen. Rules re. how you can advertise your credentials in print or in advertising are also starting to pop up which would hopefully kill off the cottage industry of "board certifications" by organizations of dubious quality. See this blog entry I did last year "Who's a Plastic Surgeon (and who is not)"

Now this ER doctor may in fact be both a nice guy and a capable doctor, but it is inconceivable from available information in the Florida Department of Health practitioner database that he should be performing procedures this far out of the scope of practice of his accredited medical training in emergency medicine.

The radio station seems somewhat unapologetic about the controversy saying
"We got a contest going on in two days that I thought would get more attention, we are doing 'Fatties at the Fair' (tasteful!) where we send big women to the Central Florida Fair where they ride rides and eat food all day. I thought that would get more attention than this. Obviously, when you are in radio, you do whatever you can to get attention but you don't want anybody to actually get hurt or anything to happen. Nothing bad is going to happen to our listeners. We love the Monster fans."

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