Having your cosmetic surgery or anti aging treatment carried out by a “board certified plastic surgeon” is a piece of advice you’ll see a lot on this site.
It seems to be a sentence I’m adding to most of my articles about facial cosmetic surgery or radical anti aging procedures.
The reasons are simple – it’s the advice given by anyone in the know about cosmetic surgery. Go to any reputable site and you’ll see the same thing – but why does it matter and what are “board certified plastic surgeons”?
Certification matters to you because board certified plastic surgeons have been checked and vetted to a high standard. But you need to make sure that you get a plastic surgeon whose certification has ben overseen by the American Board of Medical Specialties.
The American Board of Medical Specialties has been going for 75 years and oversees physician certification across the country to an extremely high level. It’s simply the “gold standard” for physician vetting.
What if your plastic surgeon or doctor says that they are certified by another organization? You need to tread carefully – there are other organizations that offer certification of physicians and they are far less carefully vetted. Sometimes all that’s needed is to study, pass an exam or take a weekend course and physicians are approved.
The ABMS has 24 Member Boards covering the whole range of medical practice – including the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Board certified plastic surgeons go through a rigorous process of testing and evaluation to be awarded the gold star of certification.
What’s more the ABMS certification program means your plastic surgeon will have to renew their gold star and be re-certified and provide proof of ongoing professional competence.
You can easily check out whether a doctor is a board certified plastic surgeon by going direct to the American Board of Medical Specialties using the ABMS online service offered free of charge on their main website.
If you don’t want to do it online or you’re trying to find a board certified plastic surgeon in your area – you can look up the information in the official ABMS Directory of Board Certified Medical Specialists. This provides updated biographical information on all physicians who have been certified through the ABMS. Copies can be found in most public libraries.
My advice – checking out the qualifications and certification of any plastic surgeon you are considering should be an essential first step – long before you go for a consultation.
For absolute certainty – don’t use any plastic surgeon who hasn’t been certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons. But remember – certification is no guarantee of excellence and – for the best results – you still have to find a cosmetic surgeon you trust.