Ringel's1 call for morality in the practice of medicine is an admirable gesture. However, to claim that practicing medicine is "more morally justified" than cosmetic surgery is pompous at best and dangerous at worst. After all, the neurosurgeon or cardiothoracic surgeon may well consider the treatment of acne, mild psoriasis, and many dermatologic conditions as cosmetic, trivial, and nonessential. It is all in your perspective.
Lawrence N, Coleman III WP, Cox SE, Brody HJ. In Defense of Cosmetic Surgery for Aging. Arch Dermatol. 1998;134(10):1295-1296. doi: