Why Going to a Board-Certified Doctor Is Now More Important Than Ever

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Board-certified physicians are held to the highest standards in their field, making them the only option when it comes to ensuring safe treatment and natural-looking results—especially during the age of COVID-19. Here, why seeking a board-certified doctor for any and all cosmetic treatments should be priority number one, now more than ever.

Extensive Training and Clinical Backgrounds
“Especially now, you are safest in a situation where you’re dealing with a physician with a real clinical background,” says New York plastic surgeon B. Aviva Preminger, MD. “If you visit a medspa, you are being treated by someone who doesn’t have the clinical background to understand infection control protocols. I think that even if you’re doing something noninvasive, why take that risk?”

Nanuet, NY dermatologist Heidi A. Waldorf, MD agrees. “There is a balance of confidence and fear that evolves during physician training that is very different than for nonphysicians in healthcare. Medical school, internships and specialty residency and fellowship is a prolonged process that indoctrinates physicians in infection control and prepares us to be the responsible party in an office or department. The buck stops with us and that is very powerful.”

Safety Protocols Are Taken Very Seriously
Basic protocols required in every practice include temperature checks, masks, limiting patient numbers, eliminating waiting rooms and head count on site, and frequent cleaning and disinfecting. However, a heightened familiarity with infection-control protocols has led board-certified physicians to go above and beyond what is required to ensure the safety of both their staff and patients. 

From providing full protective personal equipment for staff, including head and foot gear, frequent and thorough sterilization for all equipment and, as Dr. Waldorf notes, adjusting patient flow based science of infection control, the aim is to make all patients and staff feel safe and remain healthy.

Along with Santa Monica, CA dermatologist Ava Shamban, MD, both Denver dermatologist Joel Cohen, MD and San Antonio, TX dermatologist Vivian Bucay, MD have also made the investment in medical-grade air purifiers for each of their treatment rooms as an additional measure to prevent the transfer of airborne illnesses. “These medical-grade air-purifiers filter out particles smaller than COVID-19,” explains Dr. Bucay.

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“It is of paramount importance to take care of patients and staff during this time, limiting contact and contamination from a 360-degree perspective,” says Dr. Shamban. 

Use Accredited Facilities, Always
Plastic surgery can be performed safely in a hospital, a surgical center or an office-based surgical facility, and because board-certified surgeons are required to operate in accredited, state-licensed or Medicare-certified facilities, if their practice includes an office-based operating rooms, it is also required to be fully accredited, so you can rest easy.

Even if your procedure is being performed at a fully-accredited freestanding or office-based surgical center, your physician should also have privileges at an accredited hospital for the specific procedure being performed, as all hospitals require that doctors with privileges carry malpractice insurance. (In some states, there is no mandate for an individual physician without privileges to carry insurance.)

Get Access to the Best
Board-certified doctors practicing within scope belong to any one of a number of approved societies and are verified by the American Board of Medical Specialties. (Cosmetic dentists and hair restoration specialists don’t receive certifications, but belong to a number of elite medical societies, as well.)

These boards and societies—including The Aesthetic Society, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and American Academy of Dermatology, among others—have worked tirelessly to establish guidelines, task forces and protocols to help doctors reopen their practices and offer safe treatment to their patients. To determine if a doctor is board certified, visit certificationmatters.org.

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