American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals

History of ASPS

How a pioneering organization & specialty took shape

Plastic surgery may be one of the world's oldest healing arts. Learn about this pioneering specialty, and the history of ASPS and The Plastic Surgery Foundation.

The 1970s

The 1970s began with plastic surgeons moving to the forefront of the medical profession. All parts of the human body, it seemed, could benefit from the skill of a plastic surgeon and ASPS members made landmark contributions in areas not previously considered within their sphere.

Innovations in Fire Safety for Kids

In the early 1970s, ASPS member George Crikelair, MD, of Florida, helped create the Flammable Fabrics Act in the United States and developed flame-retardant children's clothing, saving thousands of lives, and thousands more from agonizing pain and disfigurement.

The Passing of a Founding Father

In 1976, Dr. Maliniac, the founder of ASPS, passed away. In the 45 years since he founded the Society, he had seen it grow from a handful of his New York colleagues to nearly 2,000 members spread across the country.

Conflict with Uncle Sam

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) gave ASPS a different sort of bad news a few months later. The FTC informed the Society that it had to surrender certain records to the government.

The Commission was on an anti-medicine kick. It had already strong-armed the AMA into allowing doctors to advertise and now had turned its attention to plastic surgery, which was a relatively small specialty, but prominent in the public's eye.

FTC Commissioner Michael Pertschek considered medical boards and board certification self-serving and anti-competitive, although they generally assured patients of the best quality physicians. He hoped to sweep out the system and initiate advertising and price-wars among medical professionals. However, after a long battle with the Society, the FTC eventually backed down.


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