Why Board Certification Matters


When you have made the decision to undergo plastic surgery, one of the most important decisions you can make is choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon. Thanks to the growing popularity of plastic surgery, more and more physicians who don’t have the proper training are offering cosmetic surgery procedures to patients. In fact, a growing number of physicians, dentists, and oral surgeons identify as “facial plastic surgeons” and offer a variety of cosmetic surgery procedures. Choosing the appropriate provider is a crucial step in achieving the best results without sacrificing safety.

While there are various accredited board certifications, being board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons (ABPS) is the one organization that patients should look for. The ABPS (unlike other cosmetic surgery boards) is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), which sets very stringent standards for earning board certification to ensure that patients are more likely to experience successful procedures.

Here’s why board certification matters when choosing a plastic surgeon:


Getting Board Certification is a Rigorous Process

To get board certification in plastic surgery, a surgeon must have graduated from an accredited medical school, completed at least five years of approved surgical experience that includes 2 years of plastic surgery residency as well as have passed comprehensive oral and written exams. During the oral exam, the surgeon must present his or her own cases from the past year as well as be prepared to answer random questions from the entire field of plastic surgery.


Your Surgeon Has Hands-on Experience

A board-certified plastic surgeon must have at least five years of surgical experience that includes a plastic surgery residency program. When you choose a board-certified surgeon, you can be sure that your surgeon has a wealth of knowledge from hands-on experience and training from other Board-Certified Plastic Surgeons.


Board-Certified Surgeons Have Continuing Education Requirements

Becoming a board-certified plastic surgeon requires more than gaining experience and passing an exam; it’s also a commitment to continuing education to stay current on the newest trends and safest practices. During a consecutive three-year period, board-certified surgeons must earn at least 150 credits of Continuing Medical Education (CME).  Board-Certified Plastic Surgeons must also participate in the Maintenance of Certification Program from the ABPS throughout their careers.  This ensures your physician is able to deliver the highest quality of care by learning better and safer ways to perform procedures and deliver the best possible aesthetic results.


Although board certification is an important credential to look for, it is only one of the factors that you should check when selecting a surgeon to perform your cosmetic surgery. Other factors, including a surgeon’s experience, especially in the procedure of interest, should be considered in determining if a plastic surgeon would be a good fit with your aesthetic goals.