Slate has a good article, Tuck Off by William Saletan, about how the economic crisis back home is causing a recession in elective plastic surgery. Like me, Saletan is elated to hear this news.
I've had my say on plastic surgery and it's not something that interests me much simply beyond how patently dishonest it is yet how damn popular it is. Basically, my respect for my fellow humans is diminished because how can plastic ever be more beautiful than real? People get work done, it's obvious a lot of the time and other people don't care because in the most common sense of the word those people look "good". I still very much think if everyone has the same features that's not very good looking at all. There is one area of the city here where you can see woman after woman pass you with the same set rounded eyes on their otherwise Asian faces. That's just creepy. But okay, I'm just too critical for my own good in this respect.
However, what is nice is that the doctors who are hurting for cash are turning back to help people who really need it.
More effectively than any bioethicist, the recession is reminding people that cosmetic work isn't medicine. "While healthcare spending as a whole has traditionally moved independently of the economy—a safe haven—that really isn't the case with plastic surgery," a financial analyst tells the Times. In the new, sobered economy, the paper reports, some cosmetic doctors are diversifying into "reconstructive surgery for cancer patients and others that is covered by insurance." Insurance!That's good to hear. Good there is a silver lining to this economic slump.
Say what you will about coverage-denying bean counters, but they do enforce the essential priority of urgent procedures over elective ones. In a health-care industry controlled by tight budgets and insurers, you might even see the cream of the med-school crop shift back to the kind of work that keeps people alive. I hope they're well-paid for it, and I hope the next rising tide lifts millions more families into the ranks of the insured. But let's never forget what the bad times taught us about what matters and what doesn't.
*Images stolen from Plastic Surgery Humour ;-) Sphere: Related Content