DECEMBER 2018 Presidential Message

Dear CSPS Family,

At the Medical Board of California (MBC) meeting/hearing on Tuesday, December 18th to review supplemental information on the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery’s application who was seeking to be deemed equivalent to allow their members to advertise they are board certified cosmetic surgeons was DENIED by the MBCIn a unanimous decision, the MBC voted to not approve ABCS’ application. This is a tremendous victory for not only plastic surgeons but for patients.

A small group within CSPS has been working on the ABCS application since July of this year to prepare for the eventual vote which occurred today. The group held weekly calls on Monday evenings as well as numerous ad hoc meetings and conversations to hone our message and strategy. ASPS was also a part of the group and provided critical help. A true team effort that resulted in the outcome that will protect patients.

The MBC meeting/hearing was a follow-up to the meeting in October when the MBC was unable to decide on the ABCS application even while the medical reviewer they hired opined ABCS was not equivalent to any ABMS board or an ACGME post graduate training program. During this meeting the MBC voted to have the reviewer request more information from ABCS and provide a supplemental report to be considered at a MBC meeting later this year.

Last weekend, the medical reviewer released his supplemental report which outlined in clear detail the additional information requested and why this information still fell short of leading him to find ABCS equivalent.

In the meeting, the medical reviewer began by walking through all of his concerns and why the information provided by ABCS was either not complete or not sufficient to show equivalency. The ABCS was then provided 15 minutes to rebut the findings of the medical reviewer. They spent their time criticizing the medical reviewer for being biased, not providing enough time for them to respond to the information requested, and for not having visited any of their training programs. ABCS continued by taking shots as CSPS accusing us of “protecting our turf” and “restraint of trade”.

After the ABCS finished it turned back to the MBC for questions. The only question was related to the complaint by ABCS over not having enough time to respond to the information request from the medical reviewer. The MBC staff attorney outlined in detail how ABCS had three years to provide information and how the MBC had sent them deficiency notices due to missing information. After no other questions were asked a motion was made to accept the recommendation of the medical reviewer to not find ABCS equivalent.

Public comment occurred prior to the vote. We had 16 different plastic surgeons including seven residents from UC Davis, Stanford, and Loma Linda to provide comments outlining various points as to why ABCS should not be found equivalent.  CSPS, ASAPS, and ASPS members, and staff all were all present and provided public comment. The public comment lasted nearly 90 minutes and was largely dominated with our side. Once the public comment was completed the President of the MBC quickly called for a vote which was decisive and clear…the ABCS is NOT equivalent!!

With such a great victory it is hard to highlight all the efforts of those involved over the past six months. A special thanks to all of our CSPS/ASAPS/ASPS Member, Residents and Staff!

2019 Annual Meeting Update
Our Scientific Committee, led by Co-Chairs Amanda Gosman and Rahim Nazerali, has also been busy reviewing 143 submitted abstracts and preparing for our 69th annual meeting to be held in Sacramento, May 30 – June 2, 2019.  Abstracts were called earlier this year to allow for accepted abstracts to be printed in our May 2019 CSPS-APS Supplement alongside select manuscripts from abstract presentations from our 2018 San Diego meeting.  This new effort has been led by Rahim Nazerali, new Co-Chair for the Annals of Plastic Surgery Review Committee.

CSPS Members’ December Spotlights

Rahim, born and raised in Calgary, Canada, he earned a BScH in Life Sciences with a specialization in neurophysiology from Queen’s University, Kingston in Ontario, Canada.  He then migrated south to the US where he earned an MHS at the John’s Hopkins School of Public Health in Health Systems Management followed by his MD in the Dartmouth/Brown Medical Program.  He eventually moved west to complete his plastic surgery training at the University of California Davis and furthered his training with a microsurgery fellowship under the tutelage of Gordon Lee at Stanford University.  He is now a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at Stanford University.  To learn some more personal and fun facts about Rahim, please click here.

Finally, I want to shine this month’s New Member Spotlight on Wai-Yee Li.  Born and raised in London, England, she earned her BS in pathology as well as her Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from the University of Birmingham, England. As a general surgery resident at the Royal Marsden Hospital, she became interested in breast reconstruction, and embarked on plastic surgery training at the Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead followed by a Ph.D. in wound healing and craniofacial development at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, granted by the University of Manchester.  She then completed her residency in plastic surgery at University of Southern California followed by a pediatric plastic surgery fellowship at the University of British Columbia, Canada.  She now practices at City of Hope National Medical Center, concentrating on post-cancer reconstruction.  To learn some more personal and fun facts about Wai-Yee, please click here.

With my warmest wishes to you and your families for an especially blessed holiday season,



Michael S. Wong, MD, FACS

President, California Society of Plastic Surgeons