Plastic surgeon or cosmetic doctor: What’s the difference?

Before you have anything changed about yourself, it is a good idea to inquire whether someone is competent.

Labels and labels

You probably recognize the dilemma. You want the wall painted or the windows redone. But who are the right professionals for the job? I don’t know how you feel about it, but I myself often find it very difficult to make a choice in this, because I simply often don’t know what the differences between the professionals are. Unlike the contractor or handyman, in the food industry there are many labels and seals on packaging, so you know exactly what you are buying.

Differences in training

Fortunately, there is also “a label” for doctors who perform cosmetic surgery and non-surgical treatments. The title“Plastic Surgeon” is a protected title in Europe. The title “Cosmetic physician” may be held by anyone who has passed a medical degree. To date, there is no law in the Netherlands prohibiting doctors from performing certain procedures without recognized training. However, “cosmetic doctors” do need to acquire their knowledge and skills before becoming competent. It is highly questionable whether a cosmetic doctor has the same knowledge and competence of business as a licensed plastic surgeon, which in his/her 6-year course learn to perform general surgery for 2 years followed by another 4 years of intensive study and training in plastic, reconstructive and hand surgery under supervision. In this, the plastic surgeon-in-training is examined every six months. It is not for everyone to complete this tough training. Some cosmetic doctors have had no training or very poor training.

Attention to quality

Patients today inquire about the patient-friendliness of the attending physician on many sites. Very important, but we also advocate that patients also be well informed about the doctor’s ability and thus competence. Want to be sure of a plastic surgeon? If so, ask if he or she is affiliated with the “NVPC” (Dutch Society for Plastic Surgery). Pay attention to quality from your practitioner or professional if you are considering cosmetic surgery.


If you have any questions following this blog, please feel free to contact us for advice.

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