Does ABPS Certification Last Forever?

I”m a Rhode Island plastic surgeon who first became certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery in the year 2000. While many patients know to look for a board-certified plastic surgeon, they may not understand how the certification process for this particular board works. They may not realize that they should make sure a surgeon”s certification is current. I”ll explain.

Let”s start with the facts. ABPS certification does not necessarily last forever. Diplomates who became certified in or after 1995 must renew their certificate every 10 years. Their certification is “time-limited” and it is mandatory that they participate in what is called the “Maintenance of Certification Program.”

What about surgeons who received their certification before 1995? These diplomates have what is called “lifetime” certification. Unlike “time-limited” certificates, these last indefinitely. Doctors who have received this certificate can still participate in the Maintenance of Certification Program, however, it is completely voluntary and not required.

Because I am not a lifetime member (I received certification in 2000), I became recertified in 2008. I will continue to renew my certification as needed to ensure I continue to exceed the requirements of this prestigious and well-respected board.

What do you think? Do you agree that recipients of the certificate before 1995 should be given lifetime certification? Do you think recipients after 1995 should be given the same certification? Or do you think all recipients should participate in the mandatory Maintenance of Certification Program?

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