When you attain a goal that requires years of hard work and sacrifice, there’s an exhilarating feeling of excitement, relief, and pride all rolled into one. I experienced that moment late last year after learning I had been certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Having grown up in Arizona, I had a longtime dream of opening a practice near Scottsdale and serving the area as a plastic surgeon, and it is now a reality.
Being board certified means a plastic surgeon has met a rigorous set of standards established by The ABPS that includes years of training and experience to help ensure the safety of patients. Here’s a little more information on why this certification matters both to physicians and their patients:
What does board certification mean?
Certification means a plastic surgeon has met standards designed to guarantee that he or she has the advanced training and experience to safely and effectively treat patients in that specialty. It also includes passing written and oral exams that test a surgeon’s knowledge. To be certified by The ABPS, a surgeon must:
- Graduate from an accredited medical school
- Complete at least 5 years of additional training as a resident surgeon in an accredited program, including at least 2 years devoted to plastic surgery
- Practice plastic surgery for at least 2 years after completing residency training
Are all boards equal?
No. The American Board of Plastic Surgery is the only association for this field that is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties, an independent organization that establishes the standards for 24 specialties. It requires ongoing education to maintain certification and ensure that specialists keep current with the latest medical and technical advancement in their fields. No other boards match the rigor demanded by the ABPS.
How does this affect a patient’s experience?
By choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon, patients know they are entrusting their care to someone with the experience and training required to provide excellent results using advanced techniques. Unfortunately, many physicians who aren’t certified by the ABPS offer cosmetic procedures, and some of them don’t even have much experience at all in the specialty. Think about someone going to a dentist for an aesthetic procedure. Would that person choose a plastic surgeon to perform teeth cleaning? Probably not. Only a board-certified plastic surgeon can provide the level of expertise in aesthetic treatments that is required to get the best outcomes.
To verify a surgeon’s board certification for any specialty, visit Certification Matters™. This is an easy and effective way to ensure you have accurate information regarding a potential surgeon’s credentials.