There is a perception in the community that cosmetic surgeons are not real doctors, or that they do not have the same comprehensive training as surgeons who operate in other fields, but this is quite wrong. In fact, they have trained for longer than many other doctors, because they go through the exact same training and then even more training in their field of speciality – cosmetic surgery.
Many specialist cosmetic surgeons will have actually completed up to 16 years of training from the time they leave high school. However, in Australia it is possible for any doctor to perform a cosmetic surgery operation whether they are trained in that field or not if the patient consents to it. That is why it is a good idea to check credentials before you choose a surgeon for your cosmetic needs.
Training with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons will take five or six years and after that there is a one to two year period of semi-supervised training. In addition most qualified surgeons belong to a number of associations such as the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). To be a member of that you have to be a Fellow of the Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS). There are other similar societies in other countries, of course.
To be a member of these societies and associations you have to be eminently trained and qualified and adhere to a strict code of ethics. So when you consult such a doctor and see those certificates upon the wall of his consulting rooms then you can feel at ease in knowing that he is truly a ‘real’ doctor.
Remember that cosmetic surgery is still surgery and it is basically a subspecialty of medicine. It is unique in that it is restricted to the enhancement or restoration of appearance through surgery or other medical techniques such as facial peels, liposuction and laser hair removal. So if you are considering having such treatment you can have peace of mind in knowing that you are in good hands.
Many people have been helped to live a normal life through undergoing cosmetic surgery. From children born with a facial defect such as a harelip, to people who have suffered facial disfigurement due to an accident or injury of some kind and even to those who are not satisfied with some part of their appearance for any other reason – all have been helped by this type of treatment.