Board certification: respect towards patients

In the field of plastic surgery like in any other medical specialty being board certified is a sign of recognition by the best experts in the country. Being board certified means a doctor has the necessary knowledge, skills and experience and he or she practices medicine in an ethical and honest manner, always considering the safety and well being of patients.

Before deciding to perform a plastic surgery patients should always ask their doctors whether they are board certified or not. However they have to be specific in their question, because board certification can be obtained in different medical specialties.
For example a person can be board certified in gynecology or orthopedics, but that wouldn’t make him qualified for plastic surgery. Plastic surgeons have to be certified by one of the two boards recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties “The American Board of Plastic Surgery” or “The American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery”. The first board certifies doctors for the entire field of plastic surgery while the second for the more specific area of facial surgery.

What does it take to become board certified

Becoming a board certified plastic surgeon is a long and demanding process. There are several steps each candidate has to take. They include:

  • Graduating a 4 years accredited medical school
  • Completing a 5 to 7 years residency training program in an institution recognized by the Residency Review Committee and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
  • Passing a written examination
  • Passing an oral examination during which a committee will analyze the doctor’s cases looking for signs of substandard skills, aptitude, judgment or practice

Obtaining board certification means to obtain the recognition and consideration of the best medical specialists in the country. However the effort involved in the process will not stop once the goal is achieved. Certification can be withdrawn and doctors must work hard to maintain it.

How is board certification maintained

In order to practice medicine it is not enough for a doctor to obtain its license: that should also be kept. To maintain the privilege of certification, plastic surgeons must complete some of the following tasks:

  • Continue ongoing medical education
  • Maintain credentials in the hospital
  • Participate in conferences and keep in touch with other specialists to find out about the newest technology, devices or medications available

All this effort is necessary to ensure patients the best possible medical services, ethical surgeons and the honesty and respect they deserve. So if you are considering plastic surgery make sure you trust the appropriate doctor with your health and safety and you avoid unnecessary risks.