Important Factors to Look for When Choosing a LASIK Surgeon
By Andrew E Holzman, MD FACS on January 27, 2012
Millions of patients undergo elective surgery procedures every year. When people undergo elective treatments such as LASIK or PRK vision correction, it is the duty of each patient to exercise due diligence and thoroughly research potential physicians. Choosing an experienced surgeon greatly reduces patients' risks of complications during and after surgery. In this blog post, I review the factors that Virginia LASIK patients should take into consideration before selecting a surgeon, and provide information on how patients can verify their surgeon's credentials.
Check to make sure that your surgeon obtained a medical degree from an accredited university. You can usually confirm that your surgeon earned his or her degrees by visiting the medical board for the state in which you live. For example, the website for the Virginia Board of Medicine shows that I earned my medical degree from the University Of Miami School Of Medicine in 1987.
In addition to a solid educational base, your surgeon should also have completed some training programs to hone his or her surgical skills. My training included an internship in internal medicine at Cabrini Medical Center in New York, a residency in ophthalmology at George Washington University, and a fellowship in corneal surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Eye and Ear Institute. All of this information is verified on the Virginia Board of Medicine website.
The board certification process is designed to evaluate a physician's expertise in a specific specialty of medicine. Physicians are required to renew their board certification every six to 10 years to ensure that they maintain a commitment to continued education and training. I initially received board certification in Ophthalmology in 1992, and have renewed my certificate in the years since. Confirmation of my board certification can be found on my profile on the Virginia Board of Medicine website; you can also find the board certification information for myself or any other physician on the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) website.
State Medical Board License
Your LASIK surgeon should be licensed to practice in the state in which he or she practices. To verify that your surgeon has a current medical license, visit the medical board for your state, and then search for your physician. The state medical board should provide information about the license, including the license number, the date the license was issued, and the date that it expires. I received my license to practice medicine in Virginia in 1989; this can be confirmed on the Virginia Board of Medicine website.
Your LASIK surgeon should have experience performing hundreds of corrective eye surgery procedures. I personally have performed more than 50,000 vision correction procedures throughout the course of my career.
Memberships in Reputable Medical Organizations
Any reputable LASIK surgeon will maintain memberships in prestigious medical organizations such as the:
- American Academy of Ophthalmology
- American College of Surgeons
- American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
- International Society of Refractive Surgery
- American Medical Association
To verify that your surgeon is a member or fellow of these organizations, visit the website for each association and complete a doctor search.
To schedule a LASIK screening at my practice, contact TLC Tysons Corner today.
- ABMS Board Certification Check
- Virginia Board of Medicine Physician Search
- List of Medical Boards by State