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

ce, national advertising that promises stunning results, and claims of innovation, superiority, and improved safety. The recommendation for surgery may come first, even before patients meet their doctor, inverting the time-honored sequence of physician consultation prior to treatment recommendation. Further, by turning patients into “clients” and allowing non-physician executives to make decisions that affect patient care, the model negatively impacts the trusted patient-physician relationship.

“Plastic surgeons need to know that by affiliating with a corporation, they are also endorsing its business practices. As physicians and members of professional societies, they need to be sure that these practices remain consistent with ethical medical care,” added Dr. Swanson.

“There is nothing inherently wrong with adopting a business model for managing one's practice, and every practice must ultimately be profitable in order to continue to exist. But we must continue to engage the public in an educational dialogue about plastic surgery training and patient safety and encourage them to view sensational claims with appropriate suspicion,” said Foad Nahai, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Aesthetic Surgery Journal, in an accompanying editorial to the article. “We can also encourage the device and drug manufacturing companies with which we have relationships to engage in responsible direct to patient advertising that doesn't damage the essential doctor-patient relationship. Our goal should be to help steer patients in the right direction so that they do not become unwitting victims of plastic surgery's commercialization.”

About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic
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