Recent news clips and other announcements have made a nice, tall pile on my desk. Time to sort through them and separate the real news from the junky PR hype.

The IAPAM (International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine) recently launched a new Web site that, according to its own PR, "provides healthcare professionals with the latest information on the growing aesthetic medicine industry." The organization offers a symposium that claims to be a one-stop shop for everything a practitioner needs to start up a medical spa.

The news section of a medical-centric Web site will often give you an idea of the type and quality of information being offered. IAPAM offers interesting content, such as an article that debunks the "Top 3 Medical Spa Myths," and it also provides selected marketing fluzz for PCA Skin, Derma Genesis, and the like. However, I recommend checking out its news page, Aesthetic Medicine News, which combines the latter content types with video and the occasional breaking news story.

On September 3, The New York Times ran a nice feature story on problem patients, A Face Not Even a Plastic Surgeon Could Love, but it did not hold a candle to PSP's similar report on how to handle problem patients where it counts — on the net. Check out Joe Niamtu's article, The Golden Rule Applies in Online Discussion Forums, which doesn't just describe the problem but offers practical tips on how to combat patients who diss doctors online.

The OC Register's Colin Stewart comments on Evolence, the new dermal filler.

Freedonia Group has released a market research report on the cosmetic surgery industry, based on a study the firm conducted — I'm presuming — in 2008. There are few surprises. The summary states,"Demand for cosmetic surgery products in the United States is forecast to increase 8.4 percent per year to $2.9 billion in 2012, as cosmetic surgery procedures exceed 18 million at the end of the period. An aging population, a greater societal acceptance of cosmetic surgery, and an increasingly competitive work force will provide opportunities for the cosmetic surgery industry."

One item in the summary stands out: the inference that people want surgery to improve their looks when job hunting. From what I have read, this is a non-trend that doesn't reflect reality. Maybe a whole bunch of industry folks are wrong about that. However, Freedonia Group obviously placed the question on a survey, thereby giving credence to the idea.

The other statement that jumped out at me: "Among equipment types, laser and other light-based systems will continue to achieve steady growth." Freedonia Group claims the large equipment sales growth rate will be 5.5% per year. Go here for the report landing page, and here for a press release on the report.

Spaniards are embracing cosmetic surgery, with about 400,000 cosmetic operations performed a year — more than in any other European country.

The Doctors Co., a top medical malpractice insurer, has filed with California regulators for an average 18.2% rate reduction that will affect the state's physicians. In addition, the firm has requested approval from the California Department of Insurance to increase its “claims-free” discount from 12.5% to 17.5% for certain surgical specialties, including plastic surgery. Read more.