Truth in Advertising (PDF)

Submitted by Virginia Society of Plastic Surgery

WHEREAS, survival in the modern marketplace requires promotion of a physician’s practice and
credentials in various advertising media, and

WHEREAS, most practitioners do so ethically, but there currently is a loophole in Virginia’s health
regulations that can be exploited, and

WHEREAS, Virginia’s regulations require disclosure of the name of the specialty board, but does not
specify that that such a board must be a legitimate educational body, and

WHEREAS, healthcare consumers may not be able to distinguish between legitimate boards and less
reputable organizations thereby devaluing the term board-certified to Virginia patients
seeking an adequately trained and qualified physician, and

WHEREAS, boards with lower standards may pose a risk to patient safety in the Commonwealth, and

WHEREAS, there is a national coalition concerned about this issue comprised of the American
Medical Association, American Academy of Dermatology Association, American
Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, American Academy of
Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, American College of Emergency Physicians,
American Osteopathic Association, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery
Association, and American Society of Plastic Surgeons, therefore be it

RESOLVED, the Medical Society of Virginia supports specifying that “board-certified” must refer to an
American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), American Osteopathic Association
Board Certification (AOA), or other boards that maintain similarly high standards of

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