It’s a long road to becoming a board-certified plastic surgeon, and all along the way I learned so much that has proved invaluable in my ability to help my patients every day. Many people are interested in learning more about just what it took for me to become a board-certified New Orleans plastic surgeon. Briefly, here are the major milestones when becoming a board-certified plastic surgeon:
- Graduate from medical school
- Complete an internship (usually 1 year in length)
- Complete a General Surgery residency (generally 3-5 years in length)
- Complete a Plastic Surgery residency (at least 2 years in length)
- Continue in practice for at least 6 months, while operative reports and preoperative and postoperative photographs are reviewed by a panel of board-certified plastic surgeons
- Pass written and oral examinations administered by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
As you can see, it can be 10 years or more after a person begins medical school until they become a board-certified plastic surgeon. During this span of time a doctor is learning the essentials of medicine, specializing in the field, and refining their techniques and knowledge through many years of practice. Many plastic surgeons also take the time to earn additional board certifications or complete additional training. For instance, after my Plastic Surgery residency I completed a fellowship in Pediatric Craniofacial Surgery at Children’s Hospital of New Orleans.
What Does All This Training Mean to You?
Every “good” doctor must have a firm grounding in the theory and practice of their medical specialty. Your best bet to achieve your ideal plastic surgery results is to choose a surgeon with more training and experience, and residencies are the place where surgeons gain the majority of that specialty knowledge and experience.
The Plastic Surgery Residency Explained
Plastic Surgery residency programs are located across the country. Most select only a handful of doctors each year. During the residency, residents perform literally hundreds of surgeries in all aspects of plastic surgery, including reconstruction and aesthetic surgery. These programs also involve conferences and lectures designed to provide each resident with increasing responsibility and complete immersion in all areas of plastic surgery.
I completed my Plastic Surgery residency through the Louisiana State University and the Charity Hospital system. I use the training and advanced education I received from this program on a daily basis in my work with New Orleans plastic surgery patients. If you have questions about surgical training while you are meeting with potential surgeons for your procedure, just ask – they should be more than happy to provide details.