Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wish It Weren’t So

I’d love to report that doctors are always ethical and have their patient’s best interest at heart, but alas even I am not that naive. 

It is important for physicians to not mislead the public as to their training or skills.  No one expects family physicians to do liposuction surgery or eye doctors to do breast augmentations. 

Here is an article in the St. Petersburg Times by Letitia Stein from August 8, 2010:  Limited training among some cosmetic surgery doctors worries state officials

A Tampa doctor accused of allowing unlicensed assistants to perform liposuction should have his license suspended for a year and pay a $50,000 fine, the Florida Board of Medicine decided Saturday.

The board's action was a move to address the growing concern about physicians with limited cosmetic surgery training working in medical spas.   …………

The charges stemmed from a woman who came to Dr. Yves N. Jean-Baptiste for liposuction. Jean-Baptiste had trained and received board certification in family medicine. About two years ago, he began to perform cosmetic procedures at his north Tampa practice, YJB Medical and Weight Clinics, after completing a three-day "intensive, hands-on training course" in Weston, according to his attorney.

Jean-Baptiste said he performed more than 250 liposuction procedures, his attorney noted without serious complication. But the July 2009 case illuminated his safety breaches.

State health officials said Jean-Baptiste allowed two people unlicensed to practice medicine to perform liposuction on the patient, identified as D.S. Her medical records didn't show a proper exam before the procedure, how much anesthesia was used, or the amount of fat removed. And Jean-Baptiste hadn't registered his office, then on Gunn Highway, as a surgical facility as required.   …………..

 

And from Dr. Rob Oliver Jr, Plastic Surgery 101, tells us about the eye doctor who had to call 911:  Ways to (nearly) ruin your life 101 - Choosing an Atlanta eye doctor to do your breast augmentation surgery

This summer there was an awful instance of medical negligence in Georgia involving an eye-doctor (opthamologist) who had major complications while attempting to perform breast augmentation surgery in his office. You can hear a frantic 911 call from the doctor explaining that he has encountered uncontrollable bleeding he created while during her breast implant surgery and has no idea how to fix it. …….

You can view 2 video news clips on the story here & here.    ………………..

2 comments:

Cynthia Bailey MD said...

In California, where I practice, this is sadly common. The physicians practicing cosmetic procedures will advertise as being Board Certified, but omit just which Board Certification they have. In my town probably half of the docs doing cosmetic procedures are not certified in what I would consider the appropriate specialty; GPs and GYNs doing all sorts of cosmetic procedures, Derms doing face lifts and blephs, Cardiologists doing large varicose vein laser, general surgery doing breast augs and facial laser etc.. Add to that the Med Spas where non-medical people are doing chemical peels, and in some states even ablative laser procedures, and we have many more 'accidents' waiting to happen.

If the practice of medicine was so easy, then why do we do residencies and bother with Board Certification in the first place? I can honestly say that I find the training and knowledge I gained from my Derm residency invaluable in my practice every day. I would not provide the same quality of care without it-including the cosmetic procedures I do. I'm surprised that our Consumer Affair Boards are so lax in their oversight. It's a curious sign of the times on so many levels.
Cynthia Bailey MD, Dermatologist

BrainDame said...

I am amazed at the growth of medical spas and what passes for "medicine". As much as this speaks to the integrity of physicians, it also speaks to the Ponce DeLeon syndrome (forever young and "perfect") and the challenge of the business of medicine for those who are truly ill.