What's in a name?
The NHS website (NHS, 2020) advises the public that when searching for a cosmetic surgeon only registered doctors can perform cosmetic surgery in England. The NHS also advises that patients should check if someone is a registered doctor or surgeon by searching for the doctor's name with the General Medical Council (GMC) online register (GMC, 2023). The advice goes on to say: ‘you can see if someone is qualified by checking they're registered with a suitable specialist association and trained in the right procedures.’
However, would a prospective patient searching for a surgeon know if the cosmetic surgeon she or he chooses is adequately trained and competent in septorhinoplasty or blepharoplasty procedures simply by searching that online medical register?
It is my view, and one shared by many others, that patients should be signposted towards the GMC specialist register, a register within the medical register. Many patients are not aware of this extra register of specialists and may also be unaware that there are ten surgical specialties to choose from.
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