One of the AACS meeting’s featured speakers, E. Gaylon McCollough, took to the podium on Friday, January 15, 2011, and gave a speech for the books. A venerated “elder statesman” in the aesthetic medicine arena — and the subject of PSP’s cover profile in December 2009 — McCollough presented a compelling, at times gripping recap of the history of cosmetic surgery versus plastic surgery, as well as his personal recollections of good and hard times over the years.

McCollough capped his talk with what he called “philosophical ruminations” about the future of the cosmetic surgery profession, such as making a distinction between surgical and nonsurgical procedures at the college, medical school, accreditation, and other levels — eg, “surgeons should not be promoting or conducting nonsurgical procedures.” Also: Do injectable treatments qualify as surgical procedures? His theme, decidedly, hung around the notion that it is counterproductive for surgical groups to perform nonsurgical procedures.

Another theme in his talk was the matter of using unproven technology on patients. Investigate the effectiveness and efficacy of new technology and products you use, he said, and physicians need to be confident enough to use that new technology on his or her own family if they plan to use it in their practice. “It takes 5 to 7 years for new technology to be proven…” etc

And my favorite quote of his from the speech: “No downtime equals no lasting results.”

Thank you, Dr McCollough. For all his insights and reminiscing, he received a well-deserved standing ovation from the packed house.