Plastic Surgeon Ethics: Would You Go to Your Child's Career Day?

A plastic surgeon in Virginia attended his child's career day, and let kids feel some breast implants (just the implant, not in a patient :) ) They were 4-6th graders. A lot of parents were upset about this. Not only because their kids  were "coppin a feel" of fake breasts, but that they were being exposed to plastic surgery in general at an age where body issues are highly prevelant.

 Do you think this was appropriate? Would you (or have you) attend your child's career day? Maybe without the implants? Curious what other doctors think.

Doctor Answers 14

Plastic surgeons at career day

I'm glad the plastic surgeon did not offer gender reassignment in his practice...

I would proudly attend such a day, and would point out how plastic surgeons help patients on a daily basis with problems that have been bothering them their entire lives, restore form and function, etc.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

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Career day

Yes, I heard about this unfortunate experience. I have often gone to career days at my children's schools.  I have brought the children masks and gloves and explained to them what plastic surgeons do.  I stuck to the appropriate subjects like fixing people's boo-boo's etc..  Bringing an implant to the class was not appropriate in my opinion.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Career day for plastic surgery

Plastic surgery is a noble and worthy calling, and taking the opportunity to educate children on what plastic surgery is all about is definitely something I would consider. Both children and their parents would benefit from learning that plastic surgery is both cosmetic and reconstructive, and although showing breast implants may have been a questionable choice the fact that they are used to improve the quality of life for mastectomy patients is also an important message.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Career Day for the kids

Yes, I would attend and participate in my children's career day at school.  As with Dr. Rand, I would not talk about cosmetic surgery to that age group.  I would take that opportunity and talk about general health issues and healthy living choices.  I already market myself and my practice during most of my waking hours.  I don't need to do it at an elementary school.  This is just my own opinion. 

Allan J. Parungao, MD
Oak Brook Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Surgeons: Would You Go to Your Child's Career Day?

I would and i did participate in my children career days.

It is a good opportunity to introduce the children, at an early age, to our great surgical specialty.

Implants are not necessary at this early introduction and may trigger inappropriate questions. 

Erel Laufer, MD
Dunedin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Plastic surgery at school career day

Plastic surgery is a wonderful career and an important one in the array of medical specialties. Any of us would be proud to discuss our career choice at school. Of course breast implants are inappropriate as would be pictures of badly injured patients, however there are topics such as dog bite prevention, minor burns, and skin cancer prevention that would fit into a class discussion very well.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Career day

I was invited to speak at my kid's grade school class. Must have been 1st or 2nd grade. I sewed a banana peel together. And talked abou dog bites. I don't think we have to talk about cosmetic surgery.

Robin T.W. Yuan, M.D.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Bringing breast implants to a child's career day is poor judgement

Bringing a silicone breast implant to a child's school career day for 'show-and-tell' shows poor judgment- what was this surgeon thinking ? The deeper issue at hand is the public's perception of plastic surgeons. We are capable of doing so much more than cosmetic breast surgery. This surgeon could have brought in some before/after photos of Mohs defect reconstructions, or CTs of a facial fracture case. That would have generated some useful discussion and 'teachable moments' on a variety of topics.

The public needs to know that we do far more than cosmetic surgery.

Career Day

I absolutely would do a career day! Plastic Surgery is not limited to just breast implants. There are so many beneficial procedures that we perform reconstructively ,as well as cosmetically.  There is obviously a claer line as to what is appropriate for children and what is not.

Michael A. Fiorillo, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Plastic Surgeon at Elementary School Carrier Day

Not only would I go, I have been many times. The important aspect is to be appropriate for the audience. In this case, the audience was not only the 4th-6th graders, but also their parents. This is generally a very good time to educate our children on healthy lifestyle habits. It is also a good time to get them excited about continuing their education and, perhaps, becoming a doctor. Although use of a breast implant was not the most appropriate thing to do, I can, possibly, understand the rationale. Kids like to play with things, and a silicone implant is fun to play with. For a child to realize that adults with significant education get to play with fun things is a good thing. The trick is not to reveal exactly what it is used for (only to replace lost tissue after accidents or surgery for bad disease), or use something similar that does not have the same connotation to the parents.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.