What Does It Mean to Be a “Board-Certified” Plastic Surgeon?
Unfortunately, any licensed physician can legally claim to be a cosmetic surgeon, regardless of his or her training. Only board certification can reliably distinguish between trained, qualified plastic surgeons and other physicians. Here’s what it means to be a “board-certified” plastic surgeon and how patients can spot the difference.
Extensive Education and Training
In order to satisfy the American Board of Plastic Surgery’s requirements and become certified, plastic surgeons typically receive around sixteen years of education and training after high school, including supervised training specifically in reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery procedures. In addition to meeting rigorous requirements, they must pass exams testing their knowledge, ethics, and safety practices. Board-certified plastic surgeons also need to complete several years of general surgery residency training as well as plastic surgery residency training.
Broad Knowledge of Plastic Surgery Procedures and Ethics
It’s not uncommon for board-certified plastic surgeons to have areas of specialty, but they must also possess broad knowledge of the entire plastic surgery field to meet the American Board of Plastic Surgery’s requirements. Certified plastic surgeons must also demonstrate a deep knowledge of surgical ethics and be able to maintain high safety standards. Without board certification, a physician claiming to be a plastic surgeon may not have the required skills to perform plastic surgery procedures safely and accurately.
How to Identify a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Many different boards and societies for plastic surgeons may or may not be recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), which oversees all sub-specialty boards in the United States. Truly “board-certified” plastic surgeons will be members of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, one of the ABMS’s recognized sub-specialty boards. Qualified plastic surgeons may also be members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, which requires board recognition for membership. When choosing a surgeon, prospective patients should ask about all qualifications, training, education, and certifications, and they can also call the ABMS to verify a surgeon’s credentials.
Elizabeth A. Kinsley, MD is a board-certified plastic surgeon who maintains memberships in several professional organizations, including the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Our office offers patients throughout the Northshore and the greater New Orleans area a full range of breast, body, and facial plastic surgery procedures, as well as non-surgical treatments. Book a consultation with us today by calling (985) 893-3737.