Understanding the difference between a plastic surgeon who is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) and a doctor who offers aesthetic surgery but is certified by a different board is extremely important when contemplating surgical and/or nonsurgical cosmetic enhancement. To completely comprehend the difference between these two types of “board-certified physicians,” you have to first know the only institution that is government-sanctioned to create and certify medical specialty boards in the U.S. is the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Any other certifying group is not accredited by the government of the United States.
Within ABMS, there are a total of 24 approved medical specialty boards known as “Member Boards.” These include the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the American Board of Surgery, the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, the American Board of Dermatology, and so on and so forth. Each individual Member Board assesses and certifies doctors who show the clinical judgment, expertise, and perspective deemed necessary to providing exceptional patient care in the specific specialty. Along with making sure requirements like obtaining a medical degree and completing residency training have been satisfied, this Member Board evaluation also consists of a demanding exam process that must be passed before a physician can obtain board certification in his or her specialty. Once certified, doctors have to regularly take part in continuing education opportunities and pass re-examination every 10 years (if certification was achieved after 1995) in order to remain board-certified.
Ultimately, none of this is to say that all plastic surgeons who haven’t earned ABPS certification are inferior to those who have—there are certainly non-board-certified plastic surgeons who are just as skilled and experienced as their board-certified colleagues. However, certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery is evidence that your prospective doctor has gone above and beyond the minimal requirements of becoming a plastic surgeon, and that they continue to maintain optimal standards of aesthetic care in their practice.
To learn more about what it means to be certified by ABPS, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons in New York City, please contact 740 Park Plastic Surgery today.