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Area plastic surgeons start three-month campaign to alert consumers

Most of us don't know that nearly any doctor, no matter what specialty he or she has, is allowed to perform plastic surgery.

A group of 10 board certified Spokane and North Idaho doctors, all members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, have formed a cooperative to address the need for more consumer information about their practice.

A press release on Tuesday states the group is starting a three-month series of TV, print and web ads to inform people about the risks of not using trained and certified plastic surgeons.

"We are concerned about billboards and other local advertising vehicles that promise the world to potential patients -- without explaining that the world into which they were being lured is a mirage. We are trying to educate the public about the skill level of ABPS - certified plastic surgeons. These other physicians are operating out of their scope of practice. We can't just say 'we're the plastic surgeons' and expect the public to understand what that means," according to Dr. Carol Hathaway, local ASPS member.

Board certified plastic surgeons have at least six years of surgical training, have passed rigorous testing and operate only in accredited medical facilities, the group said in a release.

The ten doctors participating are: Dr. Carol Hathaway, Dr. Lynn Derby, Dr. Alfonso Oliva, Dr. Edwin Chang, Dr. Elizabeth Peterson, Dr. Jeffrey Karp and Dr. Robert Cooper, all of Spokane; and  Dr. Mark Owsley and Dr. Patrick Mullern, of Post Falls; and  Dr. Michelle Spring of Ponderay, Idaho.

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Tom Sowa
Tom Sowa covers technology, retail and economic development and writes the Office Hours blog.