Las Vegas, NV | White Coat Confusion | Plastic Surgery Vegas

Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Edwards of Anson, Edwards & Higgins Plastic Surgery Associates in Las Vegas, NV explains the importance of understanding your physician’s credentials. A law was recently passed that requires all physicians and health care providers to be upfront about their credentials. Dr. Edwards explains the value and purpose of this law and how it can help protect you, the patient, from what he calls, “white-coat confusion”.


Speaker 1: As health insurance becomes part of the average American's life, doctors are also doing their part to make sure future patients know what services are available out there.

Speaker 2: It's been a full year since the law passed in Carson City requiring physicians and other health care providers to be up front about their credentials. The goal of this law is to achieve truth in advertising, but do people know about it and is it working? President-elect for the Clark County medical society, Dr. Michael Edwards joins us now. Dr. Edwards, thank you so much for your time. And you call this bill clearing up white coat confusion. Can you explain a little bit about that for us?

Dr. Edwards: Well, sure. If you go into a healthcare provider's office, whether it's a physician or a PA or whoever, and they have a white coat on, you don't know it's a provider as a consumer unless they introduce themselves or you've done your research ahead of time. And the purpose of this bill is not to restrict anybody's ability to make a living or take care of patients, but it's to better inform the public about who's providing their care.

Speaker 1: So that was the goal going in to fix that problem, give patients more information. But since it's been in effect since January, you're saying it's had mixed results and there's still an onus on the patient to do that research you were talking about?

Dr. Edwards: Unquestionably, it's up to the patients. Any of us, if you were to go to buy a car or go get a plumber or whoever, you're going to do your research and find out. When you go to get your healthcare, you should do the same thing for whatever procedure you're looking for.

Speaker 2: Let's give folks at home sort of a real world example. So let's say I'm a woman, I am going, I am looking for someone to do liposuction. I'd go into a general practitioner who says, "Hey, I can offer this procedure. We do it in office." That doesn't necessarily mean that person is board certified for that specialization. Correct.

Dr. Edwards: That's 100% true. Anyone, a physician or a provider can, PAs for that matter, are performing liposuction in Las Vegas. And so it's incumbent upon you to find out, to ask. You're an intelligent woman, you're going to do that ahead of time. But many people see an ad on TV or YouTube or Groupon or whatever and they go in. And so somebody can have a very flowery looking office and have a lot of sweet talk, but if they don't own up to what their true training is. Now, again, it's not illegal to do. Everybody practices under the Nevada Board of Medical Examiners. But, if you want to have a procedure done, you want to go where someone has had the proper training, the proper credentials, they know what to do. If there is a complication, they have a hospital to admit you to if they need to otherwise. And so there's a whole lot more to it than just getting a cheap deal on liposuction.

Speaker 2: And all credentials are not created equal either. You may see a certificate on the wall saying, I'm certified by such and such association, and in your community that might not carry much weight.

Dr. Edwards: That's an absolute great point because the law states that you can only use a board that is and recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. There are 24 boards that are recognized. The American Board of [Cosmutal 00:02:56] Gynecology is not recognized by the American Board Of Medical Specialties. So excellent point that you need to go to somebody who is credentialed in what you're trying to get to have done, whether it's a urologist or a plastic surgeon, or an orthopedist or whoever.

Speaker 2: All right, Dr. Michael Edwards, thank you so much for clearing that up for us tonight.

Dr. Edwards: Thanks for having me.