Choosing a plastic surgeon near Walnut Creek and other areas of Northern California is an important decision that requires thoughtful consideration. If you are considering plastic surgery and want to make sure you select a qualified plastic surgeon, use this checklist:
- Is the surgeon board certified?
Did you know that in many states, a physician who holds a medical license (but who has not undergone surgical training) can practice cosmetic or plastic surgery? This is why board-certification is so important. Choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon ensures that the surgeon has completed a minimum of 5 years of training and education in plastic surgery and passed a series of examinations. But be sure to pay special attention to the certifying body, as there are several “official-sounding” boards that are not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). A surgeon who is certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery is recognized by ABMS as certified in plastic surgery, including cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.
- Is the plastic surgeon affiliated with a hospital?
Choosing a surgeon who is affiliated with one or more hospitals provides a higher level of safety and care because it allows the surgeon access to certain hospital privileges, such as anesthesiologists and special medical equipment. Hospital affiliations also ensure that the surgeon’s training and credentials have been reviewed by other physicians.
- What are the surgeon’s education, training, and experience?
In addition to completing medical school from a reputable institution, your plastic surgeon should have also completed additional residencies or fellowships in plastic surgery. This specialized training ensures that the surgeon has gained in-depth expertise in plastic surgery procedures. In addition, check that the plastic surgeon has experience with the specific procedure that you are considering.