A “board certified” plastic surgeon is one who has been certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). The ABPS is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties to certify doctors in the specialty of plastic surgery.
According to the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), their mission is to promote safe, ethical, efficacious plastic surgery to the public by maintaining high standards for the education, examination, certification and re-certification of plastic surgeons as specialists and sub-specialists.
Any licensed physician is legally allowed to advertise as a “plastic” or “cosmetic” surgeon, even if he or she has no formal surgical training. Selecting an ASAPS member is your assurance of quality training and credentials. The Board is organized under the laws of the state of Illinois for charitable, scientific, and educational purposes.
ABPS-certified professionals are qualified to perform procedures on the face and all areas of the body. They complete a minimum of five years of surgical training following medical school, including an accredited plastic surgery residency program. Members of ASAPS are in at least their third year of active practice following ABPS certification.
In Canada, certification by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada is equivalent to ABPS certification. Recognized credentials may vary for professionals practicing outside the U.S. and Canada.
ABPS certification is given to doctors who –
* Are certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery® or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada®.
* Complete a combination of at least six years of general surgery with a minimum of three years of specialized training.
* Complete residency in neurological surgery, orthopaedic surgery, otolaryngology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, or urology.
* Operate only in accredited medical facilities.
* Adhere to a strict code of ethics.
* Fulfill continuing medical education requirements, including standards and innovations in patient safety.
* Complete residency training of at least two years
* Pass comprehensive oral and written exams
Currently, ABPS certification must be renewed by examination every 10 years. Doctors certified by the Board are listed in the Official ABMS Directory of Board Certified Medical Specialists published by Marquis Who’s Who in cooperation with the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).
When choosing a surgeon for your procedure, board certification is the most important, but not the only factor to be considered. Your surgeon should ideally have experience and a track record of successful surgeries in the specific procedure you are opting for.
He should also have a list of references and photographs of former patients. He must be willing to take the time to answer all your questions about the procedure and explain all possible risks and complications. Most importantly, the surgeon should make you feel confident and comfortable with his skills and expertise.
Also find out about the follow-up care provided by the hospital and interact with the staff to ensure you will have a comfortable stay and recovery. Find out whether they offer financing options, if that is what you require.