Being a Specialist Plastic Surgeon

It can be very confusing to tell the difference between a Specialist Plastic Surgeon, a Cosmetic Physician, or a Cosmetic Surgeon.

What is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon?

A Specialist Plastic Surgeon is a plastic surgeon who is trained and qualified to perform invasive reconstructive and cosmetic surgery in public and private hospitals, and accredited day surgeries. To become a Specialist Plastic Surgeon I completed 11 years of advanced surgical training after medical school, including an intensive five-year government accredited training program and two further international and national plastic surgery fellowships to allow additional sub-specialisation.

Cosmetic Physicians and Cosmetic Surgeons

Cosmetic Physician and Cosmetic Surgeon are terms that are not regulated in any way. As strange as it sounds, any medical doctor can legally call themselves a cosmetic physician or cosmetic surgeon and perform  surgery, even though they may just graduated from medical school, or had minimal or no formal cosmetic surgery training.

For your own safety you should always ensure that you surgeon has the letters FRACS (Plastic Surgery) after their name – this signifies they have been recognised as a fellow of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons in plastic surgery, which is the highest surgical qualification in Australia. You can check if your surgeon is a Plastic Surgeon by simply clicking on this link.

You should also ensure your surgeon is a member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), which is the peak body that represents Specialist Plastic Surgeons in Australia. You can check if your surgeon is a ASPS member by simply clicking on this link.

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