Aicpe the association
Who we are
The specialization of plastic surgery has its origins in the First World War with the first surgical reconstructions of soldiers mutilated in battle. One of Italy’s founding fathers in the field was Prof. Sanvenero Rosselli, who went on to apply his reconstructive abilities to aide patients with cosmetic imperfections. Thus, cosmetic surgery derives from techniques of reconstructive plastic surgery. To date, all surgeons specializing in plastic surgery dedicated to cosmetic surgery, are first trained in reconstructive plastic surgery.
In September, 2011 the Associazione Italiana di Chirurgia Plastica Estetica (AICPE) was founded, thereby remedying what had hereto been a typically Italian shortcoming. In fact, though this association may constitute a novelty in our country, it is by no means new in other European and Non-European countries (Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Great Britain, Switzerland, Holland, the United States, Argentina, Australia, etc.), where associations representing all those involved with cosmetic surgery live in harmony with associations devoted to plastic surgery, with each association representing its own field and, above all, striving to meet the varying needs of their constituents and patients. In effect, a professional who chooses to deal exclusively with cosmetic surgery has interests and aspirations that differ from one who dedicates him/herself exclusively to microsurgery or burns, disciplines that, given their complexity, demand total dedication. Freelance professionals that rely exclusively on cosmetic surgery to support themselves, as well as the numerous hospital and university-based doctors that practice this discipline with a passion, have specific needs that colleagues dedicating their entire lives to the strictly reconstructive aspects of surgery do not share.
The goals for which the association was created are:
- to promote the formation and practice of cosmetic surgery, in the aim of enhancing the exchange of knowledge among qualified surgeons towards the advancement of cosmetic surgery
- to sustain and defend cosmetic surgery as a recognized and respected discipline
- to develop and encourage the practice of high standards of personal, professional and esthetic conduct among its members
- to establish stable relationships with international associations of cosmetic surgery
- to promote a better understanding of cosmetic surgery among doctors and, in particular, among general practitioners
- to spread all of latest information on the medical profession as well as the most recent results of scientific research among its members
- to make available certified information and to provide counsel to all those seeking information on cosmetic surgery
Registration fees will guarantee the AICPE’s economic autonomy and make it possible to respond to the specific needs of its members and to reach certain goals, such as the creation of a high-level press office, the services of a public relations consultant, the formulation of a specific insurance contract (though we are well aware that this is a very difficult goal to realize), the recourse to legal defense specialized in this sector (of increasing necessity, unfortunately), the creation of a captivating website that is easily accessible to search engines and one that can successfully compete with the myriad of well-designed commercial websites existing, the creation of a buyers consortium, and a variety of other elements. These elements, however, are very costly and will entail that a consistent fee be paid by whoever should decide to become a member.
The AICPE’s statutes were drawn up bearing in mind the requests and objections of all those who participated in the assemblies held. The statutes have been subsequently perfected by a legal studio specialized in this field.
Among the characteristics desired by the AICPE’s “founders” are: greater flexibility in decision making, increased involvement of the partners, who are to be briefed on the proceedings of each meeting of the Board of Directors, a direct line between the Partners and the Board of Directors. Interactivity is to be the AICPE’s central characteristic.
The assignment of the various charges (president, secretary, etc.) will not be considered as the conferment of personal prestige, but are merely intended as a means of better distributing the commitment that each and every member is prepared to make in the aim of furthering the common professional, cultural and ethical interest. The AICPE’s every act must bear the stamp of correctness and transparency and every decision must be taken in a democratic way, taking into account the opinion of all partners, a process easily monitored by access to internet. Elections must also be “apolitical” and transparent: whoever has time to dedicate to the common good will be free candidate him/herself and, should he/she be elected, will be expected to work hard without hoping for particular privileges in return.
Greetings from the President
I wish to thank all of you for having unanimously decided to elect the AICPE’s new staff for the next two years.
The success of our association has once again been confirmed by the numbers of the Florence Congress and by the enthusiasm of those who have manifested their satisfaction for what we have accomplished so far.
Surely we could have done more, but finding 235 partners out of nowhere, having no institutional powers or a guaranteed clientele was not easy. A great effort and a huge amount of work on the part of each one of us was necessary, an effort perhaps not perceived by all, but easily inferred by the facts and by the results obtained in the various sectors.
None of this would have been possible without the “vis a tergo”, the force acting from behind, as well as the driving force of Giovani “Locomotive” Botti, who has provided this Association with the energy of a tsunami and without which it would have been difficult to snap out of the state of lethargic frustration in which we were living in the P.A. (“Pre-AICPE”) era. The enthusiastic applause and the multiple ovations you gave our first President in Florence made me understand that my opinion is shared by all of you. Giovanni has given and will continue to give the AICPE more than anyone else ever He is also the individual that has suffered more emotional hardship than anyone as a result of the various adventures we’ve had to face in this difficult period. What’s more, I would like to warmly thank all those who have worked with us in this period, among others, Eugenio Gandolfi, our first Secretary who, besides managing our web site with great care and responsibility, has caringly and efficiently organized and followed a vast number of our Steering Committee’s online board meetings, before passing the torch to Pierfrancesco Cirillo, who, though never having had a specific role within the AICPE, has invested much of his time in the realization of a series of important initiatives, such as the recent AICPE NEWS.
Thanks also go to Gianluca Campiglio and what he has accomplished as the ISAPS’s National Secretary, to Claudio Bernardi for his engagement in the AICPE ONLUS, feather in our cap in the domain of medical assistance to underdeveloped countries, and to Alvaro Pacifici, who has managed our treasury with responsibility and precision.
I wish to thank all those whom I have not mentioned for having offered their time, often subtracting it from their families or recreational activities, to no personal advantage.
We have many projects to work on and it is for this reason that we have instituted commissions through which we wish to stimulate those among you who so desire to collaborate with the directive council, to join forces in reaching increasingly important goals in such a difficult situation as the present one.
My ideas for the future:
1.) To define a deontological code that allows each individual to exercise the profession in accordance to clearer rules, in the reciprocal exchange of a more open collaboration, tearing down the barriers that sometimes separate us, and to promote a form of behavioral solidarity based on the absolute respect of ethical principles necessary among colleagues operating in a risk-filled environment. This does not mean institutionalizing corporate coverage of the medical-legal persuasion to favor those who commit errors, but the empowerment of each and every one of us, allowing us to better manage our relationships to our colleagues, regardless of their social extraction, in the most appropriate way possible. This means safeguarding our patient’s interests, but, at the same time, it implies the codification of an ideal behavior when faced with the difficult situation in which a patient that has been operated on by other colleagues is involved.
If there were clearer and more specific ethical rules shedding light on how to deal with such common eventualities, it would be easier for each of us to comply with a serious, honest scientific and behavioral model. The fundamental principle should draw inspiration from a form of conduct that respects the needs of the patient, while at the same time bearing in mind the problematic considerations inherent in our profession, and insure that every surgeon, in treating someone else’s patient, adopt an attitude similar to the one adopted in treating his or her own patient.
Any form of deviation from such rules will, or, rather must be denounced and made known to our association’s arbitrators who must then take appropriate action.
2.) To stimulate the creation of courses for younger professionals, placing the knowledge of the elders at their disposition, devoid of the ridiculous and anachronistic jealousies so typical of times past. We plan to propose that the more expert surgeons open their operating rooms to those who wish to learn: either by creating complex formative situations, or via more simple expedients, such as the divulgation of an agenda of availability on the part of whoever has something to teach to the benefit of whoever wishes to learn.
3.) To further initiatives that create opportunities for updating one’s knowledge at a distance via internet, using services such as “webinar”, streaming, etc., in the aim of facilitating education by making it easier and less expensive. We would like to invest part of AICPE’s economical resources in that direction, one that, according to opinions emerging from our Internet survey in Florence, represents a choice common to a great part of our partners.
4.) To expand the relationship between the AICPE’s Steering Committee and all partners through our newest initiatives: “AICPE MEDICAL HELP” and “AICPE PRACTICAL HELP”, two means of communication that will allow the Steering Committee to understand and evaluate the frequency and characteristics of the problems that we all face on a daily basis, to help those with less experience, and to help partners obtain practical and theoretical assistance in difficult situations of a medical and/or bureaucratic nature.
5.) To continue our engagement in the realm of insurance using the few weapons at our disposition.
Unfortunately, the power to solve this question lies in the hands of the government and it is hoped that within a few months the latter will come up with a solution to the grave impasse in which we find ourselves, one that be at least acceptable.
We will actively collaborate to the limit of our possibilities with competent structures by supplying our numeric and cognitive support and we will exert all the influence we can to insure that this support be given the attention that plastic surgery in Italy deserves. At the same time, we will do our best to provide all our partners with the medical, legal and insurance-related knowledge that can allow us to lower the levels of risk, thereby rendering our category more appealing to insurance companies.
6.) To increment the interest in our legal office. We are working on providing partners who find themselves in the preliminary phase of an eventual controversy with competent auxiliary legal aide in choosing the most appropriate form of behavior in difficult situations. The same office will be prepared to make its experience available in the case of a conviction, should a partner request it. An official AICPE legal office would guarantee both the experienced opinions of hand-chosen professionals on issues of professional responsibility, as well as a reduction of costs and expenses in the event that a single partner has to contend with a freelance professional who is represented by a legal office not “in agreement” with the AICPE.
7.) To promote scientific and cultural exchanges with the numerous international companies that are already familiar with us and to stimulate relationships with other national scientific communities that represent disciplines near to ours. You have seen how in Florence the AICPE has already secured its place at the side of several major, world-wide associations of plastic surgery, as attested by the words of welcome spoken by Jack Fisher, Carlos Uebel, Sherrel Aston and Wolfgang Gubish.
8.) To work through our press office towards the rehabilitation of our image in the media in the aim of encouraging all our partners to respect a series of fundamental deontological dictates in their communications to the general public, so as to avoid further degradation of our professionalism.
We must help our patients understand the difference between a professional whose work is serious and responsible and one who merely uses plastic surgery to obtain unabashedly commercial satisfaction, regardless of the needs and health of our patients.
9.) To open an account on Facebook and/or Twitter in order to increase our Association’s visibility and to facilitate communication with the general public in real time.
10.) To create a Log Book for every surgeon, one where not only his or her standard European curriculum vitae can be viewed, but that lists informative facts (learning experiences in operating rooms in public, private, national and international institutions, the number of operations performed and/or assisted, attendance in online learning situations, etc.) and accurately represents the updated, detailed and verifiable status of a partner’s level of competency and experience. We are currently in the programming stage of a feasibility project aimed at extending the validity of such a Log Book throughout the European Community through mutual exchange and acceptance on the part of the numerous organizations we are in touch with.
Many of the ideas we are presenting you with stem from viewpoints you expressed via the “televote” service available during the conference in Florence.
I am aware of how easy it is to present ideas and how difficult it is to produce facts. Despite the Arno River’s stimulating effects on programs to be realized in one hundred days, we must accept the fact that our task will take somewhat longer to complete. But, we are optimistic with regards to the many goals we wish to reach.
We will reach them.
On one condition: that, for once, that we abandon the typical Italian attitude that consists in desecrating any form of enthusiasm for things public and national, and that each of us be possessed by the sincere desire to work towards the benefit not only of ourselves, but of others.
Let us recapture the pride of being plastic surgeons, and Italian.
Rhetorical and obsolete? I believe not. I prefer to see it as proud and optimistic.
Thank-you for your attention.
Mario Pelle Ceravolo