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Dr. Niamtu
I have been pleased to see the upgrades and changes in Cosmetic Surgery Times (CST) with its new look, but I believe the charge of CST is still to provide accurate and balanced information about cosmetic surgery. Personally, I feel honored to have had my work featured in CST many times over the past decade. As such, I was particularly disappointed to see the one-sided article on the California legislative bill that appeared in the November/December 2006 issue ("Performance Anxiety: Non-M.D.'s May Perform Cosmetic Surgery, Says New California Law.")

The subject had merit as it related to cosmetic surgery, but you have the responsibility to provide responsible coverage, that is, content that is fair and balanced. The headline of your article, "Performance Anxiety," and "Non-M.D.'s Perfrom Surgery" was obviously an example of sensationalism and by no means accurate reporting. I find it editorially unthinkable that you reported this article from the obvious view of the detractor and provided no information representing the supporters. Didn't it ever occur to you to solicit a single person from "the other side" to comment? Regardless of the politics, is it the job of your publication to weigh in on one side versus the other? Would it not have been better to quote someone involved on both sides of the issue or at least to check your reported information for accuracy or lack thereof?

OLD NEWS I would like to point out that the California cosmetic bill is by no means extremely newsworthy, as 17 states have already passed legislation allowing qualified oral and maxillofacial surgeons (OMSs) to perform cosmetic surgery procedures on the head and neck. The first state that passed this legislation may have been ground-breakingly newsworthy, but it is pretty much old hat at this point. In fact, virtually every legislative bill of this nature that has made it to a state general assembly has overwhelmingly passed. What was newsworthy about the California bill was the fact that it did overwhelmingly pass the house and senate of the California legislative assembly and, in a very questionable political move, was then vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger. Evidently "The Terminator" believes the various state legislators to be competent to run the "great state of California," but questioned their ability to accurately assess the minor situation of a handful of oral and maxillofacial surgeons performing cosmetic facial surgery. Having vetoed the bill that passed with such impressive margins, Governor S. decided the least he could do to be fair was to do what is done when other legislation has such partisan representation. So, to his credit, he took the fair and balanced approach and appointed a committee to study this issue, just as they may study an insurance, transportation or immigration issue. This is fair for both sides as well as the state, as these committees are bound by many legal channels to be fair and balanced and not prejudiced to either side. Obviously, if these committees were prejudiced, horrific lawsuits would follow. These committees are pretty much the fair and balanced norm in the political arena.

COMMITTEE'S DUE DILIGENCE The entire committee report is available online at To underline the nonbiased charge of such a committee, I quote from the actual document "Examination of Existing Educational and Training Requirements for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons": "HZ Assessments (HZA) approached the study with the knowledge that the outcome of the study would directly impact oral maxillofacial surgeons and plastic surgeons. HZA recognized the importance of the study on the two professions but the overarching principle for the study was the matter of consumer protection. The analysis was conducted in an objective and impartial manner with the public's health, safety, and welfare as the most important concern.

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