Part 2 of 2
Receiving positive results and staying healthy during and after surgery depends on choosing a knowledgeable and experienced physician. In our previous blog post, we discussed the mandatory credentials for physicians and the specific requirements for board-certified plastic surgeons.
So, how do you find this information for yourself? Thankfully, there are resources out there to provide you with important details about physicians, including plastic surgeons.
The best places to start are the public websites that are available to check physicians’ credentials and background information. This information can help you verify that a practitioner has the appropriate training and certifications required for their medical specialty.
To protect patients and promote research and education, the Federation of State Medical Boards has a database of all licensed physicians and their qualifications. Each physician’s page includes their education, training, medical license, and board certification(s). They also note any existing disciplinary or legal actions against them.
All states also have similar databases that provide information about physicians who legally practice there. The Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation licenses physicians to work in South Carolina. On their website, you can search for these licenses and other needed credentials.
You can also check a surgeon’s credentials through the medical boards they are a part of if they specialize in a particular medical field. For plastic surgeons, you can check this information through the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS).
The organizations that oversee Member Boards like the ABPS also have resources to help you check physicians’ credentials. The American Board of Medical Specialties works to maintain the high standards of specialty certification organizations and promotes the importance of checking your physician’s background by providing this information to the public.
Along with these specific medical boards, a physician can also become a member of professional societies, such as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Their Patient Safety program provides essential information about cosmetic and reconstructive procedures and explains the importance of picking a qualified and board-certified plastic surgeon.
The Connect program provides comprehensive details about each ASPS member surgeon. Along with credentials and background, their online search tool also provides information about their surgical specialties and payment options.
Along with these official resources, doctor rating websites also allow patients to provide feedback about their experiences with physicians. Although these websites might provide useful recommendations, remember that they are based more on opinion than data.
Another important part of a physician’s background is any legal or disciplinary actions that have been brought against them. This information is often available on the websites of the medical boards and organizations we already discussed. However, this information is not always extensively detailed and up to date.
You can easily find in-depth reports by doing a web search or visiting the website of the court system in your area to find any past or present legal action in which they were involved.
However, keep in mind that all doctors have a high risk of litigation. In the United States, thousands of lawsuits involve physicians each year. Examining these cases carefully will help you come to an informed conclusion about the quality and character of a plastic surgeon and their practice.
When doing your research, remember to use these resources wisely and cross-reference the information you find to make sure it is valid, complete, and fair. We all want positive experiences and dependable results from plastic surgery procedures. With these online tools, you can find a physician whom you can trust will provide excellent care.