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Thank you for your editor’s article entitled “Circling the Wagons” in the October 2008 issue of PSP. As a cosmetic surgeon with numerous board certifications, I applaud your clarification of the fact that “plastic surgery is NOT cosmetic surgery.” It never has been, and it never will be. Why is this so? Because plastic training is grounded in the dogma of general reconstruction and encapsulated by academia.

Of all people, I would know, because my long training in the Duke Surgery Program included huge amounts of time within the Division of Plastic Surgery. Furthermore, I knew exactly what was being taught within those 89 plastic residency programs across the country, and it is no wonder I turned down an offered position within the Duke Program. Instead, I pursued Beverly Hills Facial Plastic and California Cosmetic Surgery for obvious reasons—I wanted to be a cosmetic surgeon! Therefore, after one knows the history, the truth, and the facts, it all starts to make perfect sense. Thank you again for your honest forthrightness.

—Robert A. Shumway, MD, FACS
President, CACS, Trustee, ABCS
Faculty, AACS


I liked very much your editorial last month (PSP, October 2008). Unification and learning from each other rather than separating one’s specialty as the elite one, and sending a message of “only go to a plastic surgeon who is board certified” is an elitist, archaic attitude. We could all learn from one another. I am heavily involved in teaching and, as a facial plastic surgeon, have been to and collaborated with general plastic surgeons on books and articles.

—Samieh Sam Rizk, MD, FACS
Director, Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgery
New York


Please, please stop with the commentary from Dr. Lack [“Physician Wars” Heat Up (Again); September 2008]. Antiquated rules that fail to limit doctors from practicing out of their training need revision. Dr. Lack is … a dermatologist and should practice dermatology. Weekend training courses are not sufficient to make you a surgeon. Your magazine is losing credibility with every sentence written by those with training that isn’t standardized and respected.

—Stephen Lazarus, MD, FACS
Knoxville, Tenn


“Circling the Wagons” was a very nice editorial. No doubt, you will get much applause from many and take a significant amount of heat from another large segment. Probably enough both ways to make you feel bipolar. It takes some guts to tell the truth sometimes.

—Angelo Cuzalina, MD
Tulsa, Okla