At my plastic surgery practice in Birmingham, I have noticed that patients are more aware about the importance of board certification and often ask about my credentials. However, even a board-certified surgeon may not be qualified to perform your procedure. How is this possible? Here’s one example:
Board-Certified Facial Plastic Surgeons vs. Board-Certified General Plastic Surgeons
A facial plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is indeed a highly-qualified surgeon, whose certification is limited to ONLY plastic surgery of the face, head, and neck. Although a facial plastic surgeon may refer to himself or herself as a “plastic surgeon” and may offer plastic surgery for the breasts or body, he or she has not been trained and certified in these areas. Additionally, even though facial plastic surgeons are board certified, they are not certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), which requires extensive training and certifies a surgeon in plastic surgery of the entire body. Only a surgeon who is certified by the ABPS has the necessary experience and credentials for plastic surgery of the face, breasts, and body. A board certified cosmetic surgeon has no residency training in plastic surgery, or as they say cosmetic surgery. The real sanctioning body of medicine, the ABMS, refuses to recognize these surgeons!
What to Look For
When selecting your surgeon, always make sure that he or she is certified by a medical board that is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). The AMBS is a regulatory agency that enforces strict standards among its board members to ensure optimal healthcare. Additionally, be sure to find a surgeon whose certifying board requires in-depth training in your procedure of interest.