Single, Double, or Triple Certification – What’s the Big Deal?

Plastic surgery in San Diego - does triple certification matter?

You might know that board-certification is one of the clearest hallmarks of a quality plastic surgeon, but most San Diego area plastic surgery patients don’t really know the difference between a surgeon who’s board-certified and one who’s double- or triple-board-certified. You might be wondering whether additional certifications even “count” for anything, and whether there’s really any difference in the quality of results that a surgeon with 1, 2, or 3 certifications can give you.

The Facts on Multiple Board Certifications

Board certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery verifies not only that your surgeon has the technical knowledge to understand your needs, but also the skill and experience to perform cosmetic and reconstructive surgery from head to toe. When surgeons choose to pursue additional certifications, it’s usually to earn a credential that demonstrates their advanced abilities in another specialized area of medicine (for instance, facial plastic surgery).

Which Certifications Count?

Unfortunately, not all certifying boards have the same high standards, and there are plenty of “boards” created by doctors who don’t have meaningful certifications themselves. Before you let your surgeon’s string of certifications impress you too much, find out:

“Certification helps ensure your safety and satisfaction. It just doesn’t make sense to demand anything less.” –Dr. Chaffoo
  • Board requirements: The most reputable certification boards are recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).
  • Relevancy to your procedure(s): An ABMS certification in gynecology or radiology won’t help you get better results with plastic surgery such as San Diego face lift or breast augmentation, but advanced training in otolaryngology (head and neck surgery) or reconstructive surgery actually can. The key is to pay attention not only to the surgeon’s certifications, but also to how experienced they are with the type of surgery you are considering, how many years they’ve been in practice, and in what kind of ongoing training they have received.

I am in a rare group of surgeons who are actually triple board certified. I’ve earned certifications from the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the American Board of Otolaryngology, and the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Choosing a surgeon with multiple board certifications might not be necessary for “good” results, but this level of achievement may make it much easier for you to identify a surgeon whose approach genuinely matches up with what you want.

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Information provided on this site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Cosmetic Surgery Chronicle and affiliate doctors strive to provide accurate information about real issues, but the information and opinions provided on this site are only meant to help clarify your larger research efforts.

Doctors' posts and comments are not meant to constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Any type of surgical procedure carries risks, so readers should always consult with their own physician to help them understand their risks, choose a surgeon, and prepare themselves for the results of their procedure.