For more than 30 years, board certified plastic surgeon, Jack Fisher, MD, has been helping residents of Nashville, TN, achieve the results they want. He is a firm believer in choosing a surgeon who is board certified and to further the excellence of the profession, he served as the president of The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) from 2013 to 2014. ASAPS is the leading professional organization of plastic surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery who specialize in cosmetic plastic surgery. Dr. Fisher specializes in face and body procedures and is known for his dedication to safety above all else. He performs surgery almost exclusively at a state-of-the-art, fully staffed plastic surgery center adjacent to a major medical center.
Here, Dr. Fisher tells Beauty in the Bag about his experience as president of ASAPS, and why it is important to understand the medical board certification system.
What was the best part of being president of ASAPS?
Working with my colleagues and the incredible staff of ASAPS. We have a unique organization in which the doctors and full time staff work together for the benefit of our members. I also had the opportunity to travel and not only meet our members in the US but many abroad.
What would you say was the theme of your year as president?
Providing the best education possible, as well as promoting patient safety. ASAPS is the number one source of quality teaching in the aesthetic field.
ASAPS 2013 survey showed that plastic surgery is on the up. What is driving these numbers?
Probably two major factors, first an aging population with financial resources, allowing them to have aesthetic procedures. Second, is an improving economy and increased confidence in the future. Another factor is probably a reduction in any stigma associated with aesthetic surgery.
Any surprises in the statistics?
Not really, many of the numbers are fairly stable; however, non-invasive techniques have had a dramatic rise. Although, the statistics show a significant jump in both buttock surgery and labia plasty, overall these procedures represent a small number of total plastic procedures performed.
Do you think the concept of board certification is starting to resonate with patients? Why or why not?
Yes and no. There are parts of the country where I think patients tend to understand the critical importance of board certification. The problem is there is a great deal of confusion around this term. There are physicians who call themselves cosmetic surgeons and say they are board certified but the board certification can have nothing to do with cosmetic surgery. There are states attempting to have the physician clearly state what the board certification is so that the patient is not misled.
How can patients make sure the doctor they choose is board-certified and why does this matter so much? How do you explain the different boards to make sure they “get” it?
Obviously, the patient needs to ask the physician if they are board certified and specifically what the certification is in. Beyond this request, this still remains a very confusing situation for patients attempting to identify qualified physicians. The key factor here is identifying specifically which board.