US physician licensing laws may surprise you — and there are potentially big consequences for your procedure if you aren’t careful.
The big flaw with surgeon licensing in the United States
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. 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.
Look for board-certified plastic surgeons instead
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.
Not all “boards” are created equal
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 unrelated areas such as family practice, oral surgery, OB/GYN, etc.
There is only one board for plastic surgeons
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 (220) 587-9322 or www.abplsurg.org.
Dr. Jones is a board-certified Utah plastic surgeon
Dr. Jones is a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery — the only board of plastic surgery.
When you’re searching for a qualified doctor in Utah for your procedure, you can trust Dr. Jones.
After all, there’s a reason why thousands of patients have chosen him over the past 25 years as one of the state’s top plastic surgeons.
If you still have questions about the difference between cosmetic and plastic surgery — or you’d like to know more about the board certification process — don’t hesitate to contact us today.
Questions & Answers
What is the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) is the only certifying board in the United States that offers plastic surgery certification. The ABPS was founded in 1937 to promote safe and ethical practices among plastic surgeons.
All certified members of the ABPS must complete a rigorous program of training, education, and examination before they can be certified.
What are the benefits of seeing a board-certified plastic surgeon?
When you choose a board certified plastic surgeon, you are choosing an experienced specialist who is well trained in the latest techniques and technologies.
Board certification also ensures that your plastic surgeon has completed the necessary qualifications to practice safely and effectively. Furthermore, board certified plastic surgeons adhere to high ethical standards of care.
How often is board certification renewed?
A board certification is renewable every 10 years. To maintain their certification, plastic surgeons must complete a variety of continuing education requirements and demonstrate adherence to ethical guidelines as set forth by the ABPS. Additionally, they must take part in regular reviews of patient outcomes to ensure quality care.
What if my plastic surgeon is not board-certified?
If you are considering a plastic procedure, it is always best to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon. If your chosen doctor does not have ABPS certification, it is important to ask about their qualifications and experience before making any decisions.
It is also advisable to research the training programs they completed and check with the state medical board for any disciplinary actions. Doing so will help ensure that you are receiving the best quality care possible.
What is the process of board certification?
The board certification process involves a comprehensive review of the plastic surgeon’s credentials, education, and experience. The candidate must then pass a written examination as well as an oral exam.
Following this, they will be subject to periodic reviews of their patient outcomes in order to maintain their certification status.
What are the board certification exams like?
The board certification exams are designed to assess the plastic surgeon’s comprehensive knowledge of plastic surgery procedures and techniques.
The written examination consists of multiple-choice questions and essays on topics such as anatomy, physiology, medical ethics, patient safety and more.
The oral exam is composed of a series of questions that must be answered in a timely manner.
What is the passing rate for board certification exams?
Board certification exams are typically challenging, and the passing rate is relatively low. The exact passing rate varies from year to year, but it typically falls between 70-90%.
Ultimately, board certification helps ensure that a plastic surgeon has the necessary qualifications and skills to practice safely and effectively.
What percentage of plastic surgeons are board-certified?
Approximately 80% of plastic surgeons in the United States are board-certified by the ABPS. This percentage has been gradually rising over the years, due to the rigorous requirements that must be met in order to attain certification.