1. ___ Check around and be aware of all your options. Research the many techniques, if applicable, regarding your procedure. This may take some time, but it is well worth it.

  2. ___ There is a vast amount of information available on the web as well as pamphlets free to the public from libraries and doctors' offices, without obligation.

  3. ___ Don't be afraid to ask around. Check phonebooks, ask around your salon or gym, go through referral agencies, ask nurses, search online - join our chat and forum discussions. 

  4. ___ Compile a list of possibilities and begin checking them out for disciplinary actions and check to see if they are currently board certified. Also check for possible negative media coverage.

  5. ___ You can find out if they have been disciplined by writing your State Medical Board.

  6. ___ Check with the American Board of Medical Specialists by calling 1-800-776-2378 Mon. - Fri. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time.

  7. ___ Has the doctor's malpractice insurance ever been cancelled? Some state medical boards will tell you when a doctor has had insurance cancelled (beware! most doctors can get insurance no matter how bad their record is).

  8. What does the American Medical Association (AMA) have on file about the doctor? The American Medical Directory, published by the AMA, lists the affiliations of its members. It should be available at your public library. However, for $60. the AMA will provide biographical information on as many as four physicians. Note: If your surgeon is not found on the AMA lists, this is not a red mark. Studies have shown a substantial drop in memberships for the AMA beginning 2000-2000.

    • Write: AMA, Department of Physician Data Services, Dept. P, 515 N. State St. Chicago, Illinois 60610

  9. EXTRA! Now, in some cases just because a doctor has been involved in a lawsuit, settling out of court or what not, doesn't mean that doc is a bad one. People sue for everything nowadays and some doctors don't wish to go through the battle. Likewise, if a doctor has never been disciplined or hasn't gone through a suit, it doesn't mean he is a good one either. Maybe it just hasn't happened yet.

  10. Beware of the doctor who fails to listen to your concerns or fails to bring the risks and complications of your chosen procedure to your attention.  KNOW THE RISKS!

  11. Trust your instincts as well. Sometimes, if you have a bad feeling about someone or something - there's a reason.

  12. Not all surgeons charge for a consultation. The price of the consult does not necessarily reflect on the skill of the surgeon. Prices vary from free to $500. 

  13. Speak to others, like you, who have undergone or will undergo the same procedure you are interested in. Check the Discussion Forum and Chat Room. 

  14. If you view before and after photos (from the web, doctors' offices, etc.) do realize that they can be retouched digitally or "airbrushed" and not to rely solely on them.

  15. Look through magazines, old photos or other sources to help you decide what you DO and do NOT want as a result. But remember to be realistic in your expectations. Your body is made from tissue not clay or paper.

  16. Compile a list of the medications, if any, that you may be on as a reference. Your doctor should instruct you to refrain from ingesting any products containing aspirin or even herbal products such as Echinacea. View our Medication & Supplement List.

  17. Discuss with your spouse or significant other your wishes and concerns; perhaps they, themselves, may have input or concerns you may not have thought of.

What to Bring to Your Consult:

  1. Bring a list of questions you may have for the surgeon (check other websites for other questions we may not have thought of).

  2. Bring your list of medications for reference.

  3. Bring some photos to provide a visualization for the surgeon on the results you desire and DON'T desire.