Because they believe strongly in innovation, plastic surgeons strive to continually modernize their approach to aesthetic surgery and to improve quality of care for patients. One way to achieve this is by conducting and publishing research. This focus on evidence-based medicine can help improve outcomes for patients everywhere, but it’s essential that research is conducted ethically. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a committee charged with approving, monitoring, and reviewing biomedical research involving human subjects. Any study involving human research must be reviewed and approved by this board before it can be initiated. Because so much plastic surgery research involves patients, IRB approval is frequently a necessity.
One particular complication in this system is that plastic surgeons in private practices often have difficulty accessing an IRB and come up against a convoluted process that can stall their research before it even begins. Any obstacle to research prevents improvement to standards of care for plastic surgery patients. What are the options for surgeons in private practices?
In the latest volume of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, The Plastic Surgery Clinic’s Dr. Lista and Dr. Ahmad, along with their colleagues Dr. McEvenue and Dr. Hofer, published a new article titled “Performing Ethical Research as a Plastic Surgeon in Private Practice: The Institutional Review Board.” The article outlines the function of the IRB for surgeons, explains cases where it is essential to the research process, and describes the options that are available. The authors hope to clarify some of the misconceptions surrounding this essential step in ethical research to help facilitate further study and advances in their field.
- posted by The Plastic Surgery Clinic Staff