The Role of the Obstetrician-Gynecologist in Aesthetic Services
Statement of Policy
As aesthetic services receive increased attention from the media and patient requests for such services grow, there is a corresponding need to determine the proper role of obstetrician–gynecologists in this evolving field. A growing number of women are seeking service locations that provide “one-stop shopping” for both medical and aesthetic services. Some obstetrician–gynecologists have offered aesthetic services as an extension of providing gynecologic care, such as providing hair removal and acne treatment to patients with polycystic ovary syndrome.
The scope of obstetric–gynecologic practice includes more than reproductive health care. The specialty’s broad focus on women’s health may include aesthetic services, just as this broad focus includes a wide variety of primary and preventive care. The obstetrician–gynecologist may provide services that fill a need not adequately met in commercial sites, provide safer or more efficacious treatments than those available in nonmedical settings, or provide services as a convenience to patients. Obstetrician–gynecologists who offer services typically provided by other specialists should possess an equivalent level of competence.
For the physician offering aesthetic services, the health, well-being, and safety of the patient must be paramount, and the obstetrician–gynecologist must be knowledgeable of the ethics of patient counseling and informed consent. Inquiries regarding aesthetic products and services must come from the patient, and the patient should feel no pressure or obligation to purchase or undergo any aesthetic services. It is the responsibility of the obstetrician–gynecologist to engage patients considering aesthetic services in dialogue that supports the individual’s efforts to analyze and respond to societal or marketing pressures toward an often unattainable aesthetic ideal.
Approved November 2008
Reaffirmed July 2012
Reaffirmed July 2015
Reaffirmed July 2018
Revised and Retitled July 2021