AAPS, American Association of Plastic Surgeons
AAPS, American Association of Plastic Surgeons
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2009 Annual Meeting Abstracts

Demographic and Geographic Analysis of Providers of Cosmetic Services in the Greater Los Angeles Area
Matthew C. Camp, MD.
Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA, USA.

The purpose of this paper is to use state-of-the-art business planning technology to investigate the various training backgrounds of physicians entering the field of cosmetics, and to examine the evolving demographics of the Southern California region. Geographic information systems software is commonly employed by commercial retailers to map the location and income of individuals, and correlates this with the relative number of nearby competitors. In this paper, the number of aesthetic practitioners in the Greater Los Angeles area is mapped, and the surrounding demographics are analyzed with respect to gender, age, and income. Aesthetic practitioners are categorized according to their professional training background, and areas of growth and opportunity in southern California are identified.
This study was performed using two software products from ESRI: Business MAP and Business Analyst Online for Health. US Census data and population growth projections were processed using this software. Consumer profiles and income were also analyzed using the ESRI software package. The number of Restylane Providers was provided by Medicis, with additional providers found by the Google business search engine. The providers were then each researched to find their specialty training using the Medicis Dataset, and cross verified using the Health Grades national provider database. Plastic Surgeons were checked for Board Certification using data courtesy of the American Board of Plastic Surgeons.
Within the Greater Los Angeles area, outside practitioners providing cosmetic treatment outnumber Board Certified Plastic Surgeons by approximately 6 to 1. There are 889 practitioners in a 50 mile radius within the greater L.A. area offering cosmetic services. Of these 889 individuals, 213 describe themselves as Plastic surgeons. Of these 213 individuals, 159 (74%) are Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. ABPS certified Plastic Surgeons compose 18% of the total number of individuals providing Restylane, with Dermatology providing the lion’s share at 31%. Family Medicine and Internal medicine physicians are aggressively pursuing cosmetic clientele, accounting for 8 and 9% of Restylane providers respectively.
In the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Plastic Surgeons are greatly outnumbered by other practitioners in the performance of aesthetic services. Our results indicate that many of the lay public may not be able to discern between cosmetic practitioners of different training backgrounds. In the interest of providing highest quality, safe patient care and maintaining professional and ethical standards, it is important that Plastic Surgeons carefully preserve an identity clearly separate from these other providers. Geographic information systems technology can provide a useful tool to understand the magnitude of the encroachment of other practitioners into our field, and plan an intelligent response.


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