With San Diego plastic surgeons still having trouble finding qualified surgeons and with plastic surgery shortage growing, a new group of plastic surgeons is taking matters into their own hands.
On Monday, San Diego Plastic Surgeons Association will hold its annual conference in downtown Costa Mesa to discuss the current state of plastic surgery.
Plastic surgeons are trying to get more qualified surgeons to come into the field and have some success, said Dr. David Abrash, a plastic surgeon in Costa Mesa who was previously a consultant with the group.
The goal is to have plastic surgery in San Diegans own community and get people to make the transition, he said.
Dr. Abrish says he’s hopeful about the progress.
He thinks it’s going to take a while.
“The problem is that I don’t have enough surgeons.
It’s a huge challenge.
The only way we’re going to be able to get it is if we do a lot of research and make sure we get the right people to come to us,” Abras said.
But there’s a problem with that, he added.
“There are a lot fewer plastic surgeons than there were 30 years ago, so we’re not able to fill the need, so that’s why we’re trying to bring more surgeons in,” he said, pointing to a shortage in the industry.
Dr Abrashes group is trying to educate people about the industry and has been running a campaign called “We Are The Doctors,” where he’s offering free plastic surgery and referrals to local plastic surgeons.
Abrash has a small office in the Costa Mesa building.
He works out of his garage and does not accept cash, but he said he’s open to paying his own way.
“I’ve got my own private practice, and if I want to take care of my family, I’ll pay myself,” he explained.
“It’s not about the money, it’s about the care I provide.
And that’s what’s really important,” he added, pointing out that people often don’t realize how much care they’re getting from their own doctors.
In California, the state has more than 1,500 plastic surgeons and has a shortage of at least 200, according to a 2016 report by the California Department of Public Health.
The California Surgeon General’s Office, which includes the state’s three surgeons general, has identified more than 5,000 plastic surgeons in the state and says the state needs at least 4,000 more.
The California Surgeons for Medical Treatment and Affordability has said it has more members than its membership, which is about 150,000.
A California Department Of Public Health report says more than 6,000 surgical appointments were cancelled due to the state plastic surgeon shortage.
It also noted that in 2017, the number of plastic surgeries performed in the Golden State was at the lowest rate since 1999.
Dr David ABrash, who has been a consultant for the California Surggeons Association for more than 10 years, is optimistic about the state of the plastic surgery industry.
He is also working to get people who don’t want to pay for plastic surgery to make that transition.
“If I had a choice, I’d go to my own home,” he joked.
“This is not going to happen overnight.
We’re just working towards it, and we’re working towards a solution,” Aruas said, noting that a state of emergency was declared in June when the number was at a record high of more than 100,000 appointments a day.