About Board Certification

For anyone considering cosmetic plastic surgery, the most important decision is the cosmetic plastic surgeon they select.

When selecting a plastic surgeon, it is essential that you confirm your surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) under the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).

In many states, including California, a licensed physician may perform cosmetic procedures without being board-certified in plastic surgery. And just because a doctor is board-certified does not necessarily mean he or she is certified by the ABPS.

The ABPS is the only one of the 24 boards approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) that certifies physicians in plastic surgery of the face and all areas of the body. The ABMS was established to protect patients by monitoring and regulating the quality of medical education.

To be certified by the ABPS, a physician must meet these demanding requirements:

  • Graduate from an accredited medical school
  • Complete a residency in general surgery
  • Complete an approved residency in plastic surgery
  • Pass a rigorous process of oral and written exams as well as peer evaluation
  • Practice plastic surgery and reconstructive surgery for a minimum of four years

It is also important to confirm that your surgeon is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the largest and most respected organization of plastic surgeons. The ASPS also requires a plastic surgeon to regularly attend continuing medical education courses and to adhere to a strict code of conduct and ethics.

By ensuring that your surgeon is both ABPS certified and a member of the ASPS, you are ensuring that you have selected a surgeon who is highly educated and trained in all matters of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.


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