Medical societies exist for several reasons. Not only do they offer support and industry connections to their members, they also provide them with continued education opportunities in order to help keep skills and knowledge up to date with recent breakthroughs and medical advancements. They also maintain certain standards which can help patients find reliable, experienced, and dedicated medical professionals. In the field of aesthetic medicine, there are two main societies which govern surgeons within North America.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons
The largest plastic surgery specialty organization in the world, this society was founded in 1931 and now has more than 7000 member physicians – over 94% of all certified aesthetic surgeons in the United States. Their mission is to advance the cause of high quality care for patients while encouraging the highest standards in all aspects of the field including training, ethics, practice, and research.
As the American Society of Plastic Surgeons is a dedicated advocate for patient safety, they require that their members only operate out of accredited facilities which are able to pass external reviews of both their equipment and staff. Their website also offers a wide variety of useful information for patients who are considering a cosmetic procedure.
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
This national professional association oversees medical education, accredits university medical programs, and writes and administers the exams required for certification. Their mission statement is:
“To improve the health and care of Canadians by leading in medical education, professional standards, physician competence and continuous enhancement of the health system.”
By promoting lifelong learning, they help physicians continue to acquire new skills, build their knowledge base, and development new techniques to better serve their patients. Through the Maintenance of Certification Program, the society ensures that physicians remain up to date in this constantly evolving field.
The Royal College also maintains close relationships and shares expertise with voluntary health organizations, government agencies, Canadian medical schools, and national specialty societies representing virtually every branch of medicine, practice, and research. There are dozens of societies to cover every possible specialty from medical oncologists to pathologists to plastic surgeons.
An influential voice in medical research and education in the country, the Royal College contributes to educational standards, health policy, and medical education within the country while maintaining an impressive international presence dedicated to supporting global standards of health care, improving global training values in the health care field, and health care development.