American Board of Plastic Surgery
Since you are investigating the
possibility of surgery
we think you will want
a qualified surgeon to operate.
Looking for proof of Board Certification in Plastic Surgery
Doctors say they are board certified.
Check this out and verify the claim of being a plastic
the American Board of Medical
The American Board of Medical Specialties is responsible
in the USA to provide adequate examinations for those
seeking certification. There are a lot of 'boards' out
there. These are 'boards' formed just like you would form
a corporation. You buy a name. They are many 'companies'
with little to no meaning as to the quality of its members.
The so called American Board of Cosmetic surgery is not
recognized as valid by the ABMS. It was made a corporation
by a group of doctors who wanted to do cosmetic surgery.
They were so called facial plastic surgeons, general surgeons,
dermatologists and even psychiatrists. The training of
such individuals obviously varies and there is no quality
control overseeing their training. Cosmetic surgery board
certification is not sanctioned by the American Board
of Medical Specialists.
Recently some M.D.s or D.O.s with no formal surgical training
are being trained 'on the job' to do cosmetic surgery.
Remember - dermatologists - ear nose and throat doctors
- gynecologists and even family practitioners can do 'plastic
surgery'. It is not illegal to call themselves plastic
surgeons. Recently a dentist in Tennessee tried to get
privileges to do facelifts, eyelid surgery, nasal surgery,
etc,etc,etc. The courts to this point have said no.
This may change -
You need an indicator of training and skill. Ask to see
the certificate that shows board certification by the
American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Also, ask if the doctor has hospital privileges in a major
hospital to do such operations. California has taken measures
to stop unqualified M.D.s and D.O.s from doing cosmetic
surgery. California law states that surgeons doing office
surgery must have privileges to do such surgery in a hospital.
Apparently this is California's attempt to stop under-trained
surgeons from hurting people in their offices away from
the Quality Assurance Programs of the hospitals.
Some doctors claiming to be plastic surgeons are otolaryngologists
(ear nose and throat doctors). They call themselves facial
plastic surgeons. Their board certification will be by the
American Board of Otolaryngology.
The origins of Plastic Surgery Board Certification
Excerpts from The
American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Comments about the origin of The American Board of Plastic
Initial ASPRS meetings were held in New York, usually in
Dr. Maliniac's office, and consisted of the presentation
of a handful of scientific papers, often by the founder
himself. An early concern of plastic surgeons was the fact
that the specialty, while growing rapidly, was not recognized
by the American Board of Surgeons, the medical certifying
organization of the time. ASPRS members were board certified
in other related specialties, such as otolaryngology (ear,
nose and throat - ENT - specialists). A group of ASPRS members,
led by Dr. Blair of St. Louis, convinced the American Board
of Surgery to establish an American Board of Plastic Surgery
(ABPS) in the late 1930s. The Board conducted an exam for
physicians to qualify as plastic surgeons. In 1941, the
ABPS came under the jurisdiction of the American
Board of Medical Specialties.
For the complete text refer to
ASPRS overview of The American Board of Plastic Surgery