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Medical Procedure or Commercial Commodity? Facing the Challenges of Corporate Medicine Business Practices in Plastic Surgery
Date:9/21/2013

New York, NY (PRWEB) September 21, 2013

Over the last decade, there has been a dramatic growth in the marketing of plastic surgery services directly to the public. Treating plastic surgery as a commercial product instead of a medical service represents a major departure from traditional patient care, with significant implications for physician ethics, patient safety and the essential doctor-patient relationship. “The Commercialization of Plastic Surgery,” appearing in the September/October issue of Aesthetic Surgery Journal, explores corporate medicine business practices in plastic surgery and the potential pitfalls for patients and plastic surgeons.

“The corporate medicine model can be deceptively attractive, promising stunning results for patients and vastly increased revenues for physicians. Unfortunately, many of these claims are unsubstantiated,” said article author Eric Swanson, MD, of Leawood, Kansas. “Plastic surgery should not be treated as a commodity, because it isn’t one. Unlike most commercial products, the service is not interchangeable—patients are dissimilar, surgeons are unique in their capabilities, and techniques are individualized. Trademarked labels and gadgets will come and go. Only a few will prove to be genuine advancements, and seldom will they be more important than the surgeon’s expertise. Patient safety and education should always take precedence over any business concern.”

Plastic surgeons for years have been emphasizing realistic patient expectations, avoidance of overselling, truthful advertising, informing patients about complications, presenting alternatives, and insisting on proper training and accredited facilities. Many of these patient protections are not just good practice, but mandated by law and by professional societies. These principles may sometimes be at odds with corporate priorities. Corporate medicine models often include promotion of a trademarked procedure or devi
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