Saturday, November 17, 2007
Great Advice from TMZ.com
A lot has been written about the tragedy with Kanye West's mom- Donda West.
For those who have not heard the story- Mrs. West received outpatient cosmetic surgery last Friday, was found unresponsive the next day and was brought to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Dr. Jan Adams has come out and stated that he was the surgeon. An autopsy has been performed and the results are pending.
Since the story broke, TMZ, CNN, ABC, etc have come out with a number of stories about this tragedy and the background of the surgeon. A lot has been talked about and blogged about his qualifications, board certification, etc.
This blog will hopefully clear up some of the confusion...
1. Was the doctor who performed Donda West's surgery board certified in plastic surgery?
2. Can a doctor perform plastic surgery even if he is NOT board certified in plastic surgery?
Unfortunately, yes. In the US, a doctor can perform any surgery that YOU let him/her. It's up to each patient to check the credentials.
3. This doctor was featured on Oprah and had his own show on the Discovery Channel- don't they check for these things?
No. Keep in mind that these shows are only for entertainment- it is up to every patient to do their own homework.
4. What's the big deal about being board certified?
Board Certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery is a process that takes years to complete. A surgeon must have completed the required years (5-8 yrs!) of training in Plastic Surgery and General Surgery, passed an 8 hr written examination, and then pass an Oral Examination which lasts 3 days. It's a demanding, intensive, and thorough process- the reason why some surgeons aren't able to pass or choose not to go through it.
5. How can I find out if my doctor is board certified?
Don't rely on doctor's websites, TV, etc.
As TMZ pointed out, another aspect of this tragedy is how EASY it is to find out this information. All it takes is a few minutes on the web. Go to the site below, register for free, and enter the name of ANY doctor you want to check. If it does not say that they are board certified in plastic surgery or they are not listed- they aren't.