What is the difference between and Cosmetic Surgeon and a Plastic Surgeon?

Frequently asked questionsCategory: General questionsWhat is the difference between and Cosmetic Surgeon and a Plastic Surgeon?
AnonAnon asked 9 months ago
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Dr Jonathan Brown Staff answered 9 months ago


Plastic Surgeon vs Cosmetic Surgeon
This is a topic which can be confusing for patients as you would assume that a Doctor with either title has the same level of training. This is not always the case.

What is a Plastic Surgeon?
The Austraian Society of Plastic Surgeons describes a Plastic Surgeon as someone who is “…trained and qualified to perform invasive reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery in public and private hospitals, and accredited day surgeries. The Medical Board of Australia states that the “Specialist Plastic Surgeon” title can only be used by FRACS approved specialist surgeons in the recognised specialty of plastic surgery…Specialist Plastic Surgeons …have extensive surgical education and training including a minimum of 12 years medical and surgical education, with at least 5 years of specialist postgraduate training.’

What is a Cosmetic Surgeon?
Any Doctor in Australia can call themselves a ‘Cosmetic Surgeon’ without specialist surgical training. The Australian Medical Association does not recognise ‘Cosmetic Surgeon’ as a title.

In Summary
If you are having cosmetic surgery then always do your homework on whether your surgeon is a Plastic Surgeon or Cosmetic Surgeon and, if in doubt, ask the clinic for the Doctor’s credentials. You can be sure that, in Australian, a Plastic Surgeon has a certain level of training in Plastic Surgery but the same cannot be said for a Cosmetic Surgeon. This doesn’t mean that the Cosmetic Surgeon cannot perform your procedure well but the title shows the level of formal training in the specialty.

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