Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon Given The Stephen C. Duffy Award for Leadership, Health Policy and Advocacy

The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) awarded Russell W.H. Kridel, MD, FACS, of Facial Plastic Surgery Associates in Houston, TX, with the prestigious Stephen C. Duffy Award for Leadership, Health Policy and Advocacy.

The honor is awarded to the AAFPRS member who embodies the same tireless enthusiasm and commitment to health policy and member advocacy as Stephen C. Duffy, former Executive Vice President of the AAFPRS. In his years at the AAFPRS and American Medical Association (AMA), Duffy exemplified a vigorous commitment to the political process and greatly influenced the profession's and the public's knowledge of the quality care that facial plastic surgeons deliver. He clearly understood that patients look to physicians to help them wade through and solve problems in the healthcare system. A strong patient and physician advocate like Duffy is critical in delivering top-notch care.

As a world-renowned and politically connected facial plastic surgeon for more than 25 years, Dr. Kridel is a worthy first recipient of this award. His experience and knowledge led him to be one of the most sought-after facial plastic surgeons in the country. He is certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery. He has also published more than 100 scientific journal articles and book chapters on facial plastic surgery techniques. Dr. Kridel served as National President of the AAFPRS; he was president of his county medical society and the Texas Medical Association Foundation. He served on the AMA Council on Science and Public Health for seven years and was its chair. Currently, he is a member of the AMA Board of Trustees. He is a clinical professor and director of facial plastic surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.

Take to Twitter to Educate Patients

Plastic surgeons should tweet evidence-based information more often and always use the hashtag #plasticsurgery, according to a report in the December issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

“Twitter provides a great opportunity to engage with and educate patients and the public about plastic surgery,” says study author Olivier Alexandre Branford, MA, MBBS, PhD, MRCS, FRCS, a plastic surgeon at the Royal Marsden Hospital, London. “But all too often, the conversation is dominated by celebrity gossip and marketing by practitioners who aren't Board-certified plastic surgeons.”

The researchers analyzed the sources and types of information about plastic surgery available on Twitter. Of nearly 2,900 tweets including the words “plastic surgery,” about 70 percent were posted by members of the public. Just six percent of plastic surgery tweets were made by plastic surgeons.

A large majority of the Twitter posts were about either celebrity plastic surgery (50 percent) or aesthetic surgery (44 percent), the study showed. Few provided information about the basic science of plastic surgery, patient safety issues, or topics related to reconstructive surgery.

More than 60 percent of tweets by plastic surgeons also mentioned aesthetic surgery, while 7.5 percent mentioned celebrity plastic surgery. Posts by plastic surgeons were more likely to mention basic science. Several tweets by plastic surgeons mentioned scientific articles, although only a few included a link to the journal where the article was published.

About five percent of tweets included the #PlasticSurgery hashtag. And nearly half of tweets tagged #Plastic Surgery were posted by plastic surgeons. A high percentage of these posts (37 percent) were self-promotional.

“Social media sites are a potentially powerful vehicle of integrating and enhancing education, leading to a useful role in e-learning within plastic surgery,” Dr. Branford and coauthors write. They believe that Twitter “may be the best-suited platform to fulfill the role of public education and engagement.”

In a series of Twitter surveys, Dr. Branford found that the public wanted plastic surgeons to post about education, patient safety, and new research—not celebrities and self-promotion.

“Board-certified plastic surgeons have a great opportunity to promote evidence-based plastic surgery practice via the hashtag #PlasticSurgery in the interests of supporting patients and the profession,” the authors conclude.