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It’s shocking to see stories in the news about unlicensed physicians, including plastic surgeons, performing procedures on unwitting patients and leaving these victims with devastating postoperative results. Because your happiness and safety comes first, it’s important to find highly qualified medical professionals to perform your surgery.
To practice medicine in any manner, all physicians are required to attend an accredited medical school and complete surgical residency training. They also must obtain a medical license in each state where they practice. But, these basic steps aren’t the only important qualifications to look for when choosing a physician.
In addition to a general medical license and surgical training, surgeons have the opportunity to become board-certified in their field. While board certification is not required, this certification process shows a physician’s mastery of the knowledge and skills needed for their medical specialty.
However, it’s important to check the legitimacy of the actual medical board from which a physician has a certification. The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is a nationally recognized medical organization made up of 24 accredited Member Boards.
This institution oversees each accredited medical board, imposing standards to keep them working at their field’s highest quality of care and innovation. A medical board that is part of ABMS, such as the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), is an organization you can trust to demand proficiency and excellence from its members.
ABPS is a physician-led, non-profit evaluation organization formed for the purpose of assuring that accredited plastic surgeons have the competency required to provide exceptional patient care. Initial board certification also consistently reduces the likelihood of disciplinary action and increases the higher quality of care provided by physicians.
ABPS members are required to complete certification requirements, including additional years of plastic surgery residency training, comprehensive written and oral exams, and mandatory continued medical education each year. Plastic surgeons certified through ABPS have work for years to gain this specialized experience and training, and based on this organization’s strict standards, these physicians have proven that they are highly qualified to take care of their patients.
Along with a physician’s credentials, it is essential to know their background as well. Information about malpractice or other disciplinary actions against them can tell you a lot about the history and character of a physician, their work, and their medical practice.
Knowing the credentials and background of your plastic surgeon is important for you and your health. In our next blog post you can find out how to conduct you own research and choose the best plastic surgeon for you.