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News & Press: From the President

A Message from the AACS President

Friday, August 8, 2014  
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A Message from AACS President, Jane Petro, MD

If there's one thing we know as cosmetic surgeons, it's that medicine is constantly developing and changing, especially in our multi-disciplinary specialty. Procedures and techniques that we readily use today did not even exist a few years ago. Throughout the AACS's over 30-year history, we've seen cosmetic surgery change, our health care system change, society's aesthetic ideals change, and we've seen associations change. We know that as the number of cosmetic surgeons grows to meet the ever-increasing demand for the procedures we provide, so too does the number of organizations stepping up to cater to us.

It's time we reimagined the AACS.

To remain a viable organization, strong enough to defend against the constant falsehoods about cosmetic surgery qualifications and deliver the most appropriate training and education to our members, we must prove indispensable to those we serve. To that end, we have already begun to envision a new AACS. And we started by listening to you. 

1. With 21% of members stating they do not feel their membership category is appropriate for their background and training, as shown in our latest member survey, we have amended our membership categories.

We made two, important modifications to the requirements for fellow membership: 

  • Fellow membership is now available to physicians board certified in any of the "surgical specialties" by a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) or the American Osteopathic Association Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (AOA-BOS), or by any other board deemed equivalent by the Academy's Board of Trustees. "Surgical specialties" include Dermatology, General Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Otolaryngology, Plastic Surgery, and any other "surgical specialty" deemed so by the Academy's Board of Trustees. Fellow membership is no longer limited to only those board certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.

  • Fellow membership is also available to any DDS/DMD who is board certified by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

    Read full qualifications 
We adjusted the membership categories to divide what was the General Member category into two distinct segments: 
  • The Physician Member category may be granted to any physician (MD, DO, DDS, or DMD) who performs cosmetic surgery.

  • The Allied Health Member category may be granted to anyone who performs professional services related to cosmetic surgery and is set at only $275 a year.

    Read full qualifications for all member categories 

2. We are renovating our brand to reflect a new version of the AACS, one that is modern, forward-thinking and ready to adapt to the changes in our field. We started with a completely new AACS website,, designed to improve our online visual presence, simplify the transactional processes, and make it easier for the public to search for cosmetic surgery providers. This new website will shift and change as we continue our transformation.

3. We are diversifying our educational offerings to close the practice gaps that exist in the field today. That includes more hands-on training, regional workshops, and online education. This focus is not only shaping our upcoming Annual Scientific Meeting, where we are incorporating cadaver workshops and more specialized training, but will shape an array of new educational offerings, to launch throughout 2015 and beyond.

4. Finally, we have increased efficiencies in operations by identifying and removing legacy costs that have burdened the organization, and hiring an association management firm whose proven best practices will further streamline our member offerings and daily operations.

But this is only the beginning.

During this transformation, we will look to you, our members, to guide us toward the AACS that you really want. To an AACS that you will proudly support in the years ahead.

Email us at to tell us what YOU envision for the new AACS.


Jane Petro, MD
AACS President