Tuesday, December 28, 2010
In the last few years, an increasing number of General Practitioners, Family Practitioners and OB-GYNs in the United States, Canada, and Australia have added revenue-enhancing cosmetic procedures to their core practice. Because 91 percent of cosmetic procedures are performed on women, OB-GYNs have a ready-made client base—but is the integrity of the physician-patient relationship, the practice of medicine, and ultimately the care of patients compromised when physicians offer cosmetic procedures and products that don’t increase the health and welfare of their patients?
“We are physicians who limit our practice to women,” writes David Levine, MD in the Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology, an OB-GYN and outspoken proponent of the practice, “and these same women are responsible for the bulk of the $6 billion per year spent on cosmetic treatments, it seems natural for us to consider offering these treatments.”
Levine’s argument seems logical on the surface, but in medicine, what makes sense financially is not always what makes sense ethically. We must face the fact that there are deep ethical implications of the rapidly increasing trend of General Practitioners (GPs) Family Practitioners (FPs) and OB-GYNs adding revenue-enhancing cosmetic procedures and products such as skin rejuvenation, Botox®, Radiesse®, liposuction, breast augmentation, and mesotherapy to their core practice.