Within the United States, physicians are licensed to practice medicine by state licensing boards. Once a physician is licensed, there are no federal laws that expressly define or limit what procedures this physician may perform. This means that a physician who is not trained to perform plastic surgery could claim to specialize in cosmetic surgery and perform procedures he or she is not qualified in, such as liposuction, breast augmentation, and more. Unfortunately, this happens rather frequently as some doctors and practices put their financial gains before patient safety. While there have been recent cases of unqualified doctors having their licenses revoked and even serving jail time, not all unqualified physicians have been stopped.
To make certain that you receive care from a qualified doctor, be sure that your surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. In order to become certified by this board, a plastic surgeon must first complete intensive training in an accredited plastic surgery training program. The surgeon must then pass rigorous oral and written exams given by the board. The American Board of Plastic Surgery is one of only 24 accredited specialty boards recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS); it is the only board recognized by the ABMS to certify a surgeon in plastic surgery of the face and body.
Be discerning when reviewing a doctor’s certifications. There are various other “boards” that include terms like “facial surgery,” “cosmetic surgery,” or “aesthetic surgery” in the title. These boards do not require the physician to complete a plastic surgery training program. Some of these boards further imply that a plastic surgeon is trained in reconstructive surgery, while “cosmetic surgeons” are better trained and qualified in “cosmetic surgery.” In truth, the training and requirements of these boards are not comparable to those of the American Board of Plastic Surgery. For example, a plastic surgeon must complete an approved plastic surgery residency program, while “cosmetic surgeons” can complete their residency training in areas such as family practice, oral surgery, OB/GYN, etc.
The important point is that there is only ONE board for plastic surgeons: the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Make sure that your plastic surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. To verify a doctor’s board status, you can contact the American Board of Plastic Surgery at (215) 587-9322 or www.abplsurg.org. You can also contact the American Board of Medical Specialties at 1 (800) 776-2378 or www.abms.org.
If you have any questions about ensuring that your plastic surgeon in Utah County, Utah, is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or about the difference between a plastic surgeon and a cosmetic surgeon, please feel free to contact Dr. Trenton C. Jones, M.D. and his knowledgeable team today. We are happy to answer your questions.