Healthcare reform and its meaning to plastic surgeons.

By December 27, 2009Uncategorized
Health-care reform is essential to the well-being of this country and to the well-being of medicine as a profession. The government has taken on a very complicated problem that seems to have very few good solutions. I do believe that the United States, as the most advanced and industrialized nation in the world, should have health care for every citizen. This must be balanced with continued research and advancement, and the least amount of government intervention in the doctor-patient relationship. For the medical profession, this means that we must continue our autonomy to advance the science and the art of medicine and surgery.

Some of you may be embarking on a career in plastic surgery, thinking that health-care reform and health care issues are not that relevant to a cosmetic surgery practice. This could not be further from the truth. Plastic surgery is rooted in the basic principles of wound healing, improving lives, and restoring lost form and function. Health care reform is more relevant to our profession today as the services we provide as plastic surgeons are being constantly monitored and valued by outside organizations that know little about what we do. Because the media have stereotyped plastic surgeons as being only about “nip and tuck,” people forget about the major reconstructive surgical procedures that we perform on a daily basis. My practice is somewhat unique in that it is balanced with both cosmetic surgery and reconstructive surgery. I enjoy this balance, and I am passionate about my work.

Becoming a plastic surgeon is about helping your fellow man or woman. Healthcare reform in its principles is about this very same issue. We need to balance this goal with the conflicting political forces that seem to make this goal much more difficult than it has to be.