Canadian surgical college seeks crackdown on nonspecialists

Dec 04, 2007, 5:00am

Toronto - The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is urging legislators to pass measures that will help the college crack down on nonspecialists who are performing cosmetic surgery, The Ottawa Citizen reports.

Toronto - The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is urging legislators to pass measures that will help the college crack down on nonspecialists who are performing cosmetic surgery, The Ottawa Citizen reports.

According to the Citizen article, the college recognizes plastic surgeons and some other kinds of specialists who perform cosmetic procedures, including dermatologists, but does not recognize the term “cosmetic surgeon,” believing it to be misleading.

The college’s council released recommendations on the issue in October, two months after a 32-year-old Toronto woman died following liposuction treatment at a “cosmetic clinic.”

According to the Citizen, the college recommends eliminating the use of the term “cosmetic surgeon” and is demanding that physicians be clear about their specialities. The recommendations also note that an increasing number of invasive cosmetic procedures are being performed outside hospitals, and suggest that the college wants to be authorized to inspect these facilities.

Currently, the college is backed by regulations that govern professional misconduct - the college may suspend a physician’s license, for example - but has no authority to close a private clinic or control qualifications of nonphysicians who work in clinics.

The Citizen article says the college is investigating 16 physicians for reportedly performing procedures or practicing under conditions that, according to a college spokesperson, “don’t comply with the standard of practice.”