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Plastic Surgeon

The American Board of Plastic Surgery
Board Certification

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 is recommended.
Doctors say they are board certified.
Check this out and verify the claim of being a plastic surgeon at

the American Board of Medical Specialties

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.


Board Certification

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 Surgery

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

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