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Plastic Surgeons - What It Means To Be Board Certified

Jan 5, 2008
"Board Certified" simply means a physician has been given a Board Certification by an organization called a "Board". This includes formally recognized entities such as the American Board of Plastic Surgery but may include unrecognized or other entities calling themselves "Boards". This can create significant confusion with the terms especially with the current events on television in the relm of realty TV.

"Board Certified in Plastic Surgery" means that a surgeon has been awarded Board Certification by the ABPS.

Board Certification is awarded only after finishing a formal residency in Plastic Surgery and also passing a rigorous written examination (usually taken 6 or 18 months after completion of all training) and a difficult oral examination which includes cases from a surgeon's own practice (usually taken at least 18 months following completion of all training).

To be allowed to sit for these exams for the Board of Plastic Surgery, a surgeon must have completed:

1. College (usually 4 years)
2. Medical School (usually 4 years)
3. Internship in General Surgery (1 year)
4. Residency in either General Surgery, Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Urology or Neurosurgery (usually 4 to 7 more years)*
5. Additional residency in Plastic Surgery (2 to 3 more years)*
6. Additional fellowships (specializations) may be performed in addition to the above training

*a combined residency of 3 or more years of general surgery plus 3 years of plastic surgery now is also accepted

Board Certification can only be awarded by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. The ABPS.

Board Certification can not be awarded by any other organization, including the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (approved training in plastic surgery in the area of the head and neck only, formal training encouraged but not required), the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (not a recognized Board by the ABMS, no formal plastic surgery fellowship required), or the State Medical Board (grants medical licenses, not board certifications). These organizations do not require formal residency training in plastic surgery.

Taking the time to locate a qualified and competent surgeon can help to ensure that your surgery experience is the best it can be. These surgeons are ready to listen to your needs and help you reach your goals. They hope to sit down with you and work with you to make a plan. Services are offered to both men and women. These specialists can help turn your dreams into a reality.
About the Author
Dave Stringham is the President of LookingYourBest.com an online resource for plastic surgery in Los Angeles. Learn more about breast augmentation and cosmetic surgery procedures.
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