The case of Peter Normann is a great example of why patients must be educated and carefully check into the qualifications of a surgeon they are considering for cosmetic surgery. These events can occur with Birmingham plastic surgery, as the state of Alabama is rather lax in the regulation of cosmetic surgery. Those calling themselves “board certified cosmetic surgeons” can readily perform cosmetic surgery, in their Birmingham offices, with minimal oversight. This, as seen in the Dr. Normann case, can make for unsafe surgery and poor outcomes. Many of these surgeons have no formal residency training or certification by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). It is the patient’s responsibility to determine if a surgeon has the right certifications and qualifications. Complications can arise with any surgery, but they should be minimized in the hands of the appropriately trained, experienced, and certified cosmetic surgeons. Birmingham plastic surgeon Michael S. Beckenstein, M.D. offers advice about choosing a safe plastic surgeon and questions to ask a prospective cosmetic surgeon.?