May 7th, 2013 Dr. Mele
The results for this Winter’s 2013 Top Doctor Competition have been released, and Dr. Joseph Mele was awarded Top Plastic Surgeon in California, for demonstrated expertise, excellence and care. HealthTap, an online resource where patients can ask medical questions, sponsored the competition. Ratings were based on the amount of help provided by physicians, questions answered and thank you’s received, as well as peer review.
Dr. Joseph Mele, rated among the Top Plastic Surgeons in California.
In addition to Top Plastic Surgeon in California, recognition was received for Top Doctor in the Contra Costa County Region, CA and Thought Leader in the Contra Costa County Region, CA. It is humbling to be recognized, and I am happy to be able to help patients seeking the best medical care.
April 19th, 2013 Dr. Mele
The annual meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) was held in New York last week. Many of the best Cosmetic Plastic Surgeons, both members and guests, gathered to share the latest techniques and dispel the latest myths in plastic surgery innovation.
What is the ASAPS?
The ASAPS is the largest professional society for Board Certified Plastic Surgeons who practice Cosmetic Plastic Surgery. The group split from the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (ASPRS) to provide Plastic Surgeons with a professional organization dedicated to the specialty of cosmetic surgery. Most members maintain membership in the ASAPS and the mother society, now renamed the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). The national meetings of the ASAPS and ASPS are two of the largest of their kind in the world.
What’s new in Plastic Surgery?
The ASAPS meeting provides scientific papers, lectures and instructional courses covering the latest refinements in Cosmetic Plastic Surgery. This is one reason I go out of my way to attend. The other main reason is the manufacturers displays. The latest innovations in plastic surgery are there to be seen, and the manufacturers representatives are available to explain it all.
What’s New in Breast Implants
If you are a frequent reader of the San Francisco Plastic Surgery Blog, you may already have the latest cosmetic plastic surgery information, but here is a recap of some of the newest offerings in Breast Implants. Both these implants are next generation products with highly cohesive silicone gel interiors. The terminology for these devices has become very confusing, but you may know them as gummy bear, form-stable or high-strength silicone gel filled breast implants.
New Breast Implants from Allergan
So what was new? For Breast Augmentation, this was the first national meeting with the newly approved Allergan style 410 shaped breast implants.
Allergan Natrelle 410 Breast Implants get FDA Approval.
These are the latest generation of silicone breast implants. The improvement is inside with these implants. They are filled with a form-stable, high-strength gel that maintains its shape better than any other implant. While not right for everyone, they do represent an improvement in shaped breast implant technology, and will be especially useful for women needing breast reconstruction after a mastectomy and for women born with little to no breast tissue.
New Breast Implants from Sientra
Sientra was well represented too. Sientra offers the latest in smooth round breast implant technology. Sientra’s breast implants are made with a stronger shell and form-stable high-strength gel.
Sientra Breast Implants made by Silimed
The gel in the Sientra Breast Implants is not as stiff as the new Allergan 410′s; however, it is stiff enough to resist flow, as the breast implant that I divided in half last year can attest to, but feels softer. It also does not suffer from problems with shell separation and gel shearing that the 410 does. Both Sientra’s and Allegan’s latest offering represent improvements from the previous Breast Implants.
New Dressing to Reduce Scars
Last year, I was a clinical investigator for a novel scar treatment manufactured by Neodyne Biosciences.
Embrace – A novel scar treatment.
The product, Embrace, was launched last weekend, at the ASAPS meeting in New York City. Embrace is a new silicone dressing specifically designed to shield an incision from stress and improve the appearance of the scar. Initial trails were conducted for Tummy Tuck scar, and the results were good. Dressings of various shapes and sizes are available to match the size of the incision. Notice I say incision not scar. These dressings are made for use right after an incision is closed, or a scar is surgically revised, to help improve the scar formation.
But Wait! There’s More!
These are just three of the most exciting offerings from ASAPS. This is also the 250th entry for the San Francisco Plastic Surgery Blog. As long as there is something new to present, I will keep blogging. Thank you for all your support, and interesting questions. If you have a question, feel free to email using the form on the left.
If you are interested in learning more about a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure, the best way to learn is by consulting a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, like myself. While the Internet is amazing, there is no substitute for an in-person consultation. To reach my San Francisco Bay Area Plastic Surgery office in Walnut Creek, CA, call (925) 943-6353.
March 31st, 2013 Dr. Mele
Once upon a time, Board Certification was a lifetime distinction, but this is no longer true. Now, Board Certification requires maintenance of certification. Every year, the American Board of Plastic Surgery requires Board Certified Plastic Surgeons to submit to a review of their practice.
Board Certified for Life
For the American Board of Plastic Surgery, diplomates certified prior to 1995 where given certificates without an expiration date. After finishing an accredited Plastic Surgery training program, all one had to do was pass a written qualifying examination and an oral certification examination and you were Board Certified, for life. No further exams, no further evaluations and no further review was required.
Recertification – the First Step
The first step toward assuring the public that Board Certified Plastic Surgeons are also current with the latest techniques in surgery and patient safety was recertification. Every 10 years, passing a written examination was required to remain Board Certified. If you could not pass, you could no longer claim to be Board Certified. Lifetime certificate holders, however, are not required to participate to remain Board Certified.
Maintenance of Certification
The latest incarnation of Board Certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery requires a yearly activity to remain Board Certified. Again, Plastic Surgeons certified before 1995 are still not required to participate in order to retain their Board Certified title.
Some of the yearly tasks are simple, like paying the ever increasing fees; however, this is not nearly enough. Many of the tasks are more than menial and are listed below:
- Verification of unrestricted state medical license
- Verification of hospital privileges
- Verification of accreditation of non-hospital based freestanding outpatient surgery centers
- Submission of advertising material
- Active membership in one of the Board’s sponsoring organizations (ASPS or ASAPS)
- Peer review
- Verification of 150 Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits every three years
- Completion of additional MOC-approved educational activities
- Completion of one Practice Assessment Module
- Review of Benchmarking Report for comparison of data to peers
- Completion of Action Plan for Improvement
- Case Collection of de-identified data from all cases over a six-month period
- Successfully completing the MOC in Plastic Surgery Recertification Examination every 10 years
All This for a Little Piece of Paper
After completing all these tasks, here what I received…
… a Little Piece of Paper: The American Board of Plastic Surgery Recertification for 2013
The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)
The American Board of Plastic Surgery program requirements are aligned with the four basic components approved by all 24 Member Boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). The ABMS represents the gold standard of Medical Boards and for Board Certification. There are more than 24 “boards” out there, but these 24 represent the core of medicine and are the “real” Medical Boards. Beware of sound-a-like boards. Some are valid adjuncts to the core, but none are a substitute for the real boards.
Why Look for Board Certification?
The idea behind Board Certification is to provide a benchmark for the public for a doctor’s training and qualifications. Below are links with which you can check me out, or check out any other Board Certified Doctor.
Maintenance of Certification takes dedication and persistence. You owe it to yourself to check your plastic surgeon before having any procedure. Just click on what you want to do:
Check if your doctor is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Check if your doctor is Board Certified by another American Board of Medical Specialties board. You will need to register to use this site, but it is safe, free and fast.
Check if your doctor has an unrestricted California Medical License. Read the disclaimer and click “Continue to Search” at the bottom. If you are not in California, Google your state’s medical board for a link.
March 12th, 2013 Dr. Mele
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) released the latest cosmetic plastic surgery stats today. In 2012. Americans received over 10 million nips, tucks, relaxations and plumps, representing a 10% increase from 2011. Here are the details:
Non-surgical Cosmetic Procedures
Five out of six procedures were non-surgical with the injectables in the lead again in 2012. The relaxers, Botox and Dysport (botulinum toxins), retain the number one position. Plumpers come in number two including the dermal fillers: Restylane, Juvederm, Perlane, Belotero, Prevelle, Elevess and Radiesse. Laser hair removal secured the number three spot, with microdermabrasion and chemical peels rounding out the top five.
Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Procedures
Cosmetic surgery procedures also increased from 2011 to 2012. Breast augmentation remains the number one American cosmetic plastic surgery procedure, followed closely by Liposuction. The other half of the Mommy Makeover, the Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty), comes in third. While cosmetic facial plastic surgery procedures, Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Lift) and Rhinoplasty (Nose Job), come in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Top Five Cosmetic Surgeries for Women
The top five cosmetic surgeries for women were:
Top Five Cosmetic Surgeries for Men
The top five cosmetic surgeries for men were:
Real-Self “Worth It” Ratings
For the first time, the ASAPS has included “Worth It” ratings from the popular plastic surgery consumer review web site RealSelf. The non surgical procedures typically receive worth it ratings from 60-70%, while the top five surgical procedures rank higher as follows: Breast Augmentation 93%, Liposuction 74%, Abdominoplasty 95%, Blepharoplasty 77% and Rhinoplasty 82%.
Considering a Cosmetic Procedure in 2013?
If you are considering a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure in 2013, give us a call at (925) 943-6353, or use the contact form to the left to arrange a private, personalized consultation appointment.
February 16th, 2013 Dr. Mele
Every now and then I am reminded what is great about being a doctor. I came across a posting on the Internet entitled: This letter from my late mother’s doctor has changed my life. It’s short and sweet and reminds me how big an impact one person can have on another.
The redacted version is included here, and a copy of the letter is included at the end of this post. It says a lot in a few words:
- Dear Mr. (blacked out),
I am the Emergency Medicine physician who treated your wife Mrs. (blacked out) last Sunday in the Emergency Department at the New York Presbyterian Hospital. I learned only yesterday about her passing away and wanted to write to you to express my sadness. In my twenty years as a doctor in the Emergency Room, I have never written to a patient or a family member, as our encounters are typically hurried and do not always allow for more personal interaction. However, in your case, I felt a special connection to your wife (blacked out), who was so engaging and cheerful in spite of her illness and trouble breathing. I was also touched by the fact that you seemed to be a very loving couple. You were highly supportive of her, asking the right questions with calm, care and concern. From my experience as a physician, I find that the love and support of a spouse or a family member is the most soothing gift, bringing peace and serenity to those critically ill.
I am sorry for your loss and I hope you can find comfort in the memory of your wife’s great spirit and of your loving bond. My heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family.
(blacked out), MD
These short paragraphs say it all. Taking care of patients, even in the waining hours of health and life, is a great responsibility and privilege. To be a doctor, is a choice I made early in life that I have never regretted. I can hear the cynics out there saying, “You’re a Plastic Surgeon, not a real doctor.” Heck, I’ve heard some of my colleges make the same comment, but that’s not how I feel about it. I do specialize in Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, but “Do no harm” means knowing a lot more than how to do liposuction. I do also practice Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, and I don’t always get to give good news.
My thanks goes out to the gentleman who publicly shared this handwritten note from his mother’s ER doctor, as well as the doctor for so simply and legibly, expressing the impact that patients can have on their doctors, even if it’s just one visit. Last, but not least, thank you to my pateints for your trust and kindness.
Here is a copy of the original letter:
Excellent Medicine – A thoughtful letter from an ER doctor to a grieving family.
February 9th, 2013 Dr. Mele
Dr. Mele is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
Any licensed physician can call himself or herself a Cosmetic Surgeon, so the importance of finding a properly trained and certified provider is paramount. The goal of this post is help patients looking for a qualified Plastic Surgeon know what to ask and how to check on their prospective doctor. I encourage everyone considering cosmetic plastic surgery to spend as much time researching their doctor as their procedure.
For Plastic Surgery Think PS
If you are considering cosmetic surgery there are three main goals that are mandatory, and the first two letters of Plastic Surgery can help. The three goals are:
- Proper Surgery
- Proper Surgeon
- Proper Setting
You want the most appropriate procedure performed by a qualified and experienced surgeon in a setting that provides for your safety.
Underground Plastic Surgery
Underground Plastic Surgery has grown along with the Board Certified variety. As Cosmetic Plastic Surgery has gained acceptance and popularity so has the quest for a bargain. There are no exact numbers, because those practicing cosmetic surgery illegally do not track or report their procedures to a national society like the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) or the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery(ASAPS), but more about them later.
The way we usually hear about illegal plastic surgery is when something goes horribly wrong. On January 3, 2013, a second person was arrested and charged in the death of a 37-year-old woman who died from pulmonary complications after receiving silicone-like injections to enlarge her buttocks. The patient was introduced to the unlicensed practitioner after paying $200 to an Internet referral source. The fact that the procedure was performed at home, rather than a medical facility, should have been a big red flag.
This unfortunate patient had the wrong procedure, performed by the wrong person in the wrong setting. While fat grafting has gained some traction as a viable way to provide buttock enlargement in selected cases, there are currently no FDA approved off-the-shelf injections available in the US for buttock enlargement. Anyone offering these types of injections, no matter how low the cost, is not doing you a favor, and is not practicing medicine within the current standard of care.
Licensed Plastic Surgery
As mentioned above, any licensed physician can call himself or herself a cosmetic surgeon. At one meeting. I met a doctor, not from the San Francisco Bay Area, who performs Breast Augmentation one day a week, and works as an Emergency Room doctor the rest of the week. The state of California finds this perfectly reasonable, because he is a licensed physician.
Plastic Surgery was born from a union of General and Head & Neck Surgeons, who had an interest in plastic and reconstructive surgery. There is a lot of overlap between Plastic Surgeons and other specialists like Otolaryngologists, Ophthalmologists and even Gynecologists. Each of these specialists receives specific surgical training in their discipline, but Emergency Medicine?
Trained Plastic Surgery
I knew early on that I wanted to be a Plastic Surgeon. As a result, I chose the most direct path available: Surgical Internship, General Surgery Residency and Plastic Surgery Fellowship. All along the way I had my eye on the prize, to become a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. I did not start learning plastic surgery after completing some other discipline. My desire to be a plastic surgeon shaped my training from its inception. I was fortunate enough to be in a General Surgery training program that had Plastic Surgeons, but no plastic surgery residents. This gave me the opportunity to get a head-start on my Plastic Surgery Training well before my Plastic Surgery Fellowship.
After finishing my General Surgery Residency, I completed a three-year Plastic Surgery Fellowship. There I concentrated only on plastic surgery. I was fortunate to train in a program that not only provided a firm foundation in Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, but also was strong in Cosmetic Plastic Surgery. This depth and breadth of this training cannot be provided by a weekend course, or a few proctored cases. It’s the best way to learn plastic surgery, and it is why I chose to complete a Plastic Surgery fellowship as my path to becoming a Plastic Surgeon.
Board Certified Plastic Surgery
The San Francisco Bay Area is currently home to two Plastic Surgery Training programs: UCSF and Stanford, and for a long time was home to the oldest plastic surgery training program west of the Mississippi at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital. Additionally, the Bay Area is a nice place to live, so finding a well trained Plastic Surgeon in our area is pretty easy.
Board Certification is a process that occurs throughout the course of a Plastic Surgeons practice. Lifetime certificates where given out before I started my training, but currently certification requires continuous maintenance. The details for Plastic Surgery Board certification are available here: Certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
The goal of Board Certification is to provide recognition for the most qualified practitioners in their discipline. It means they have the best training and have been vigorously evaluated by other Board Certified doctors to make sure their expertise is up to the standard of care.
The Three PS’s
PS #1 – Proper Surgery - Finding the proper procedure on the Internet can be difficult. While there are many sources of good information, there are a lot of claims that are too good to be true. While it is good to have an idea of what procedure will work, it is best to reserve final judgement until after an in-person consultation. A big part of my job is listening to what is bothering you, and finding the best way to fix it.
PS #2 – Proper Surgeon - Finding a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon is a good start in being certain you have the proper surgeon. For selected procedures, there is overlap with other specialties. Board Certified Ophthalmologist are well trained in Blepharoplasty and Board Certified Otolaryngologists are well trained in Rhinoplasty. What you will need is a well trained professional with experience. This helps assure that good skills are coupled with good judgement.
PS #3 – Proper Setting - Real surgery requires the correct setting. While Botox and Injectable Fillers, and minor surgical procedures can be safely done in an office setting, Breast Augmentation, for example, should be performed in an operating room. An operating room in an accredited facility is preferable. Placing a Breast Implant requires an FDA approved device and sterile technique; otherwise, you won’t be keeping it long.
To be an ASPS Member Surgeon, a physician must meet these rigid requirements:
- Board certified in plastic surgery by the ABPS
- Graduate from an accredited medical school
- Complete a combination of at least five years of general surgery and plastic surgery residency training
- Pass comprehensive oral and written exams
- Operate only in accredited medical facilities
- Adhere to a strict code of ethics
- Fulfill continuing medical education requirements, including standards and innovations in patient safety
An easy way to be certain you have the PS’s covered is to seek an ASPS member. If you are considering cosmetic plastic surgery, a subset of the society, the ASAPS, are ASPS members dedicated to the cosmetic side of plastic surgery.
You Owe it to Yourself
It takes dedication, persistence and effort to maintain Board Certification, and so does being a Plastic Surgeon. You owe it to yourself to do the research and check your plastic surgeon before having any procedure. The Internet makes it easy. The following links, will make it even easier. Just click on what you want to do:
Check if your doctor is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Check if your doctor is Board Certified by another American Board of Medical Specialties board. You will need to register to use this site, but it is safe, free and fast.
Check if your doctor has an unrestricted California Medical License. Read the disclaimer and click “Continue to Search” at the bottom. If you are not in California, Google your local medical board for a link.
February 1st, 2013 Dr. Mele
Since the invention of Reality(less) TV, plastic surgery has received its share of exposure over the last decade. The best known prime time incarnation, ABC’s Extreme Makeover, debuted in 2002. Unlike most its spawn, the show did obtain approval from the American Society of Plastic Surgery, but the emphasis was on the extreme end of the makeover. Plastic Surgery Reality TV peaked in 2004 with shows like: E!’s Dr. 90210, Fox’s The Swan, MTV’s I Want a Famous Face and Bravo’s Miami Slice. But reality TV’s infatuation with the fringes of plastic surgery has not died. As if brides were not stressed-out enough, in 2010 E! offered up Bridalplasty. Just this week, Toddlers and Tiara’s spin-off, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, was followed by Plastic Wives.
Yep, they are in there.
More shock than substance, the pilot featured a woman who keeps her labia in a jar, and a former Extra host who seems to be considering it. While intellectually we all know that Reality TV is unreal, these types of shows feature real people, expressing real emotions in their own words, although edited for effect. The fantasy of it is seductive, but while for those featured it’s the truth, it is not the whole truth. A link to the Plastic Wives Preview is supplied; however, parental guidance is suggested.
There’s More to the Plastic Surgery Story
Plastic surgery is not all Boob Jobs. Don’t get me wrong, breast augmentation is an excellent procedure that improves the lives of hundreds of thousands of women every year in the US alone. One of the main reasons I enjoy practicing Plastic Surgery in the San Francisco Bay Area is the ability to provide a wide range of what plastic surgery has to offer. The range covers cosmetic surgery to congenital anomalies, and botox to breast reconstruction.
What do Plastic Surgeons do?
The yin and yang of Plastic Surgery are innate in the profession. Fifty years ago, American plastic surgeons Thomas Cronin and Frank Gerow invented the breast implant, and plastic surgeon, Joseph E. Murray performed the first cadaveric renal transplant. Granted, most people outside of medicine associate breast implants with plastic surgery; however, not too many know that the 1990 Nobel Prize in Medicine went to a plastic surgeon, Dr. Murray, and hematologist, E. Donnall Thomas, a fellow engineering major.
The 1990 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to a Plastic Surgeon.
The two met at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, and remained friends and colleagues over the years because of their common interests in transplantation.
1990 Nobel Prize in Medicine
Dr. Murray refined many of the transplantation techniques and performed the first successful human kidney transplant on identical twins Richard and Ronald Herrick on December 23, 1954. The 1990 Nobel Prize was awarded for “discoveries that have enabled the development of organ and cell transplantation into a method for the treatment of human disease.” Transplant surgery has blossomed into a profession currently limited by donors rather than demand. New research into human tissue growth may soon remove this road block. While stem cell research and tissue engineering remain controversial, controversy seems to be an important governor of plastic surgery that improves, rather than hinders its outcomes.
Two is Better Than None
Dr. Murray and Dr. Thomas demonstrated how much we can accomplish when we work together. Both men passed away last fall, and they will be missed. A month after their passing, transplant surgery reached a new milestone. Iraq War veteran, Brendan Marrocco, became the first recipient of a dual arm transplant. Plastic and Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr. Wei-Ping Andrew Lee, is carrying the transplantation torch over new ground, and Mr. Marrocco, who thrice had no pulse after loosing both arms and legs, is making unbelievable progress, back at home after his extensive surgery. It will be two more years before we will know if injured nerves in his shoulders will be able to reestablish a nerve supply, sensation and motion to the donor arms.
While Reality TV tends to put the spotlight on many of the most superficial aspects of our existence, there is much more beneath the surface.
Kiss nightclub fire in Santa Maria, Brazil.
Last week, Brazil suffered one of the worst accidents in its history. More than 200 young people died in a night club fire in Santa Maria, a university city located in southern Brazil. Dr. Carlos Uebel, president of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), lives about 150 miles away from the tragedy. He sent a personal account of the aftermath to me and the other ISAPS members:
1,500 boys and girls were in the private club to commemorate their graduation when suddenly a pyrotechnic show started the fire that burned all the walls and the ceiling material. Very toxic smoke spread over the people who could not exit quickly enough through the front door. Many of them were trampled and crushed on the floor. Only 10% suffered serious burns with about 16 patients being treated in ICU burn centers in Santa Maria and Porto Alegre; however, many more out patients are coming for treatment.
Our southern Brazil chapter of plastic surgery, coordinated by the president, Paulo Amaral, promptly engaged more than 50 plastic surgeons from the area to help in this uncommon accident. We have received emails expressing solidarity from all around the world. Eduardo Leão in Belo Horizonte has opened his burn center to the victims. Our colleagues in Buenos Aires sent a message offering artificial skin. Einstein Hospital in São Paulo is sending a Task Force on Lung Bioquimic Diseases. So many other centers from all around South America are demonstrating their charity.
Our “gaucho” families are suffering the second largest burn catastrophe in our country after the circus fire tragedy that occurred in Rio in 1961, and the third one to occur in worldwide night clubs. From this horrific tragedy, we have learned again that pyrotechnics inside a night club cannot be allowed; that building materials should be atoxic; that emergency exits are mandatory; and that occupancy laws must be obeyed.
Our plastic surgeon colleagues from South Brazil thank those who have sent so many messages of support and condolence from around the world in this moment of intense sorrow.
The Reality of Plastic Surgery
This too is the reality of Plastic Surgery. It’s not all boobs. There will always be a large gap between the extremes of what we need and what we want, or even where the line is drawn in the grey in-between. Plastic Surgery is a large tent, with more than its fair share of sideshows. Even we Plastic Surgeons bicker amongst ourselves about what a “real” plastic surgeon is, but the discussion remains healthy. The knowledge and creativity that drive the profession fuel the extremes, but also foster an environment that allows for explosive growth. There is a big difference between reality and reality TV, for plastic surgery there is no exception. Whether we are replacing arms or just tightening them up, we are still plastic surgeons. For better of for worse, it a profession that offers something for everyone. Whether it is a moment of need, or want, Dr. Gaspare Tagliacozzi summed it all up back in 1597:
We restore, repair and make whole, those parts which nature has given, but misfortune has taken away, not so much that they might delight the eyes of the beholder but that they may buoy up the spirit and help the mind of the afflicted.
September 21st, 2012 Dr. Mele
Best of Walnut Creek Award – Plastic Surgeon Joseph Mele, MD
2012 Best of Walnut Creek Award
WALNUT CREEK August 31, 2012 — Joseph A Mele III, has been selected for the 2012 Best of Walnut Creek Award in the Physicians & Surgeons category by the Walnut Creek Award Program.
Each year, the Walnut Creek Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Walnut Creek area a great place to live, work and play.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2012 Walnut Creek Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Walnut Creek Award Program and data provided by third parties.
About Walnut Creek Award Program
The Walnut Creek Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Walnut Creek area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.
The Walnut Creek Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.
SOURCE: Walnut Creek Award Program
Best of Walnut Creek Award – Plastic Surgeon Joseph Mele, MD
August 24th, 2012 Dr. Mele
Thanks to high patient satisfaction again this year, Joseph A. Mele, III, MD, Inc. has been honored with a 2012 Talk of the Town award. Specializing in the highly competitive and subjective field of Cosmetic Plastic Surgery for 15 years, makes achieving this award that much more special. A big Thank You goes out to all my patients.
Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Joseph Mele, 2012 Talk of the Town Honoree
Cosmetic Plastic Surgery
After 15 years and well over 10,000 procedures, it is great to be a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon practicing in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area. It is easy to maintain one’s passion for this profession. It’s all about making people happy. It’s about doing something for my patients that they cannot do for themselves. It’s about helping in a way that is uniquely personal and private.
I do not actively solicit positive online reviews. Maybe I should. For me, the choice to have elective cosmetic surgery is deeply personal, and not something that is always easily shared. To those of you who have taken the time to say thank you, I assure you that I appreciate it on a personal level, and your happiness is the most rewarding part of my job.
How is the Award Selected?
Per the Talk of the Town web site: Talk of the Town News established CMUS Power Ratings™ with industry-leading, sample-based methodology to track customer satisfaction. Each year, they gather information from a combination of highly respected, no-cost online user-review websites, blogs, social networks and business-rating services to measure customer satisfaction. By combining all online information into one score, consumers and businesses receive a fairer overview of customer feedback without having to spend hours locating all the information. Talk of the Town News takes the worry and work out of finding the top consumer-rated businesses across the country. Most importantly, Talk of the Town does not charge businesses, so businesses cannot influence their results.
May 19th, 2012 Dr. Mele
Dr. Mele is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
How to Choose a Plastic Surgeon
A few years ago, the state of California passed a law requiring all physicians advertising Board Certification to explicitly state the Board they are certified by. The goal was to allow consumers to identify the training of their doctors, and to avoid confusion.
Terms that Sound Like Plastic Surgeon
The intentions were good; however, there is no area with more Board Envy and confusion than the American Board of Plastic Surgery. As the popularity of Plastic Surgery has risen, more and more sound-a-like Boards have formed, and honestly, some of them even sound better than plain-old Plastic Surgery.
But a better sounding name is not the same as a better trained doctor, and no Board provides better training in Plastic Surgery than the American Board of plain-old Plastic Surgery.
Better Than Plastic Surgery
It may seem a no brainer that no Board provides better training in Plastic Surgery than the American Board of Plastic Surgery; however, some non-ABMS boards claim, without merit, that they have more specific training. They refer to Board Certified Plastic Surgeons as General Plastic Surgeons, and refer to themselves as sub-specialists. If you hear these claims, buyer beware.
What Does Board Certification Mean?
Board Certification means that your doctor has taken the appropriate training for their Board. It means they have passed written and oral exams, administered by doctors who are experts in the specialty. Today, this certification needs to maintained on a yearly basis with periodic re-examination.
The new buzz word is not just Board Certification, but Maintenance of Certification or MOC. The logo for this, seen at the top of this post, can only be used by Board Certified Doctors who continue participation in their Board’s MOC program. I am proud to maintain Board Certification in two ABMS Boards: The American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery.
ABMS Recognized Boards
Determining if your doctor is certified by an ABMS Board is simple. You can go to the ABMS site and check (links are provided at the bottom of this post.). Any Board not specifically listed below is not an real ABMS certified Board.
Here is a listing of all ABMS recognized boards with links:
The American Board of Medical Subspecialties (ABMS)
Any group can create a Board. I could create the American Board of Breast Augmentation. I could define my own criteria for “Board Certification,” and accept anyone who meets my criteria, without any outside supervision. This type of Board is suspect, I prefer a Board that opens itself up to outside scrutiny.
Continuity and accountability within US Medical Boards is provided by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). For over 75 years the ABMS has provided responsible oversight for the certification of all physicians. It is the only recognized Certifying Body for Medical Specialty Board Certification in the United States.
The ABMS provides valuable resources for consumers and physicians alike, including a free online search that lets you check if you doctor is certified by a recognized board. To check your doctor click here -> Is Your Doctor Certified?
The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS)
The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) also maintains a free online search. If you are considering Plastic Surgery, check if your doctor is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. To check if your doctor is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, click here -> Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Plastic Surgery Professional Societies
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) require current ABMS Board Certification for membership. They also require that all members operate in only Certified Centers and adhere to a strict Code of Ethics. I am a proud active member of both these world renowned plastic surgery societies.
For more about my training click “Meet Doctor Mele” here or at the top of any San Francisco Plastic Surgery Blog page. Click here for more about my -> American Board of Plastic Surgery Maintenance of Certification.