Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
The American Board Plastic Surgery accredits a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. This certifies that a plastic surgery candidate has done 3 years of addition training, after either a general surgery residency, ear, nose and throat residency or orthopedic residency (each of which are 5 years long) and he has passed to tests that judges his competence and judgment skill as a plastic surgeon. (A surgeon after completion of his plastic surgery residency is considered a “candidate” to take the Board Certification test.)
The American Board of Plastic Surgery is the only Board Certification recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties to include all aspects of body contouring procedures as part of their training.
The American Board of Medical Specialties is the ultimate governing organization that certifies that plastic surgery residency training includes all the critical learning criteria for this specialty field. The American Board of Medical Specialties only recognized 15 medical specialties, each with different training criteria.
The American Board of Plastic Surgery tests plastic candidate after they have completed three years of addition residency training. The tests are with both a written test and an oral test. The written test is an all day test. It tests all areas of plastic surgery training from craniofacial to hand to reconstruction to cosmetic surgery. The oral exam is taken after a year later. For the oral test a years worth of before and after pictures are submitted to the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Of all the case submitted 10 are selected for review before a panel largely consisting of chairmen and faculty of plastic surgery residency programs from all around the nation. Each plastic surgery candidate has to defend his judgment on each of the 10 cases in front of two plastic surgery residency faculty. No other medical board has such a strict criteria. Approximately 20% of candidates fail on the first attempt to pass.
Only after passing the tests a Board Certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery is issued to the plastic surgeon. None of the other 14 Board Certifications or residency program, get this training or undergoes this rigorous scrutiny.
A residency in general surgery does not include any body contouring training. Such training is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties as part of the general surgery training for board certification. I know I was a general surgeon before I did three additional years of plastic surgery. I obtain a board certification in general surgery and plastic surgery.