Board Certifcation & Why It is Important
Many health care providers are now performing plastic surgery procedures, but that doesn’t mean they are all qualified to perform plastic surgery. To be sure you are getting a competent, qualified surgeon, your plastic surgeon should be board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. To those of you who are unclear as to what being "board certified" actually means, you are invited to read further as the following will hopefully make clear to you the qualifications your surgeon should have before you consider him or her to be your plastic surgeon.
American Board of Plastic Surgery
The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) is one of 24 medical specialty boards that make up the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Through ABMS, the boards work together to establish standards for physicians and maintain board certification. The boards were founded by their respective specialties to protect the public by assessing and certifying doctors who meet specific educational, training and professional requirements.
A surgeon who is ABPS certified must have graduated from a medical school in a state or jurisdiction of the United States which is accredited at the date of graduation by the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME), a Canadian Medical School accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS), or from a United States school of osteopathic medicine accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).Graduates of medical schools located outside the jurisdiction of the United States and Canada must possess a current valid standard certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) or have completed a Fifth Pathway program in an accredited school of medicine in the United States.
Following medical school, the prospective plastic surgeon wishing to be certifed by the American Board of Plastic Surgery can follow one of two paths. The first path is to complete five progressive years of clinical general surgery residency training, sufficient to qualify for certification by the American Board of Surgery. Following general surgery residency, a dedicated plastic surgery residency/fellowship of 2 to 3 years must be completed to be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Alternately, the second path is to complete an integrated program in plastic surgery which combines the model of 3 years of general surgery and other surgical specialty training followed by 3 years of plastics training. Following this integrated program, the candidate may be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
The American Board of Plastic Surgery is accountable both to the public and the medical profession through:
Helping patients by providing information about the board certification process and identifying which doctors are board certified.
Supporting physicians by creating programs that assist doctors to stay current in their field and improve their practice.
Collaborating with healthcare leaders to foster initiatives for the promotion and monitoring of healthcare quality.
Transforming healthcare by increasing awareness of the importance of board certification and lifelong learning in assuring quality care.
American Society of Plastic Surgeons
Plastic surgery involves many choices. The first and most important choice is selecting a board certified American Board of Plastic Surgery surgeon. The next most important decision is to make sure your surgeon is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. ASPS member surgeons meet rigorous standards including but not limited to being board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery® (ABPS) or in Canada by The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada®, perform surgery in accredited, state-licensed, or Medicare-certified surgical facilities, and adhere to a strict code of ethics.
Do not be confused by other official sounding boards and certifications. The ABPS is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), which has approved medical specialty boards since 1934. There is no ABMS recognized certifying board with "cosmetic surgery" in its name. By choosing a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, you can be assured that you are choosing a qualified, highly trained plastic surgeon who is board-certified by the ABPS or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
To make sure your surgeon has these outstanding qualifications, look for the ASPS Member Surgeon Symbol of Excellence.
At Carmel Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeons, both Dr. Grasee and Dr. Bergman are highly qualified, American Board of Plastic Surgery board certified plastic surgeons and members of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons.