My Free Implants.com and a "Board-certified cosmetic surgeon" have gotten together to offer a free breast augmentation at Erotic LA, a three day sexuality and lifestyle exhibition to be held next week at the LA Convention Center. This is the second year in a row that they have had this contest. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, which is the largest and most trusted plastic surgery organization in the world, considers it an ethical violation to give out plastic surgery as a contest without following specific ethical guidelines. According to their guidelines, a member is subject to discipline or explusion if:
The member participates in a charity raffle, fund raising event, contest or other promotion in which the prize is any procedure* or gift certificate or other document redeemable for all or part of the cost of a procedure*.
There are a number of other rules regarding contest participation that I won't bother going into here. As a board-certified plastic surgeon I am always fighting against the perception that plastic surgeons are unethical, money-grubbing crooks. Contests like this don't help us in showing the public that the vast majority of us are physicians who strive to be ethical and use our skills to make people's lives better. Do we benefit monetarily through this? Yes, and for some more than others. Is that all we care about? No. I can honestly say that the best part of my job is seeing happy patients after their surgery and going home feeling that I helped some people feel better about themselves. I feel very blessed to be able to have the career I do.