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Dr. Michaels' Blog

Safety In Plastic Surgery: Board Certification

All “Plastic Surgeons” Are Not Created Equal

You’re finally ready to take the plunge and have cosmetic surgery. You want it done as safely as possible, with the best possible results. This series of blogs addresses safety in Cosmetic surgery. Today we’ll discuss Board Certification.

Would you go to a dentist for a facelift?  Or a family practitioner for Botox™?  Of course not. You want the best trained and most experienced doctor for the procedure you choose, right?  As a consumer, how do you know who is really qualified to work on your face and body?

The easy answer is “only use ‘Board Certified’ doctors.” But what does “Board Certified” mean? And, much more important, what, exactly, is the doctor “Board Certified” to do?

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is the oldest, most rigorous and only universally recognized of all the boards. ABMS board certified plastic surgeons are an elite group. First, the candidate doctor must complete at least 6 years of training after medical school.   Once the candidate is in practice, their cases are reviewed by recognized experts in the field to determine if the candidate is allowed to proceed. Finally, the candidate must pass two extensive exams, one written and one oral. But it’s not over! Every three years the board certified plastic surgeon is retested for maintenance of certification, and every 10 years the surgeon must be recertified.

Even more selective is The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). To be a member of the ASPS, a doctor has to be board certified by the ABMS and conform to stringent ethical and performance standards. These standards are continually enforced, ensuring that only the best plastic surgeons are in practice.

Check your surgeon’s credentials online at the ABMS and the ASPS web sites. Look for the ASPS symbol of excellence when choosing a plastic surgeon and rest easy. You have chosen the very best.