According to the American Board of Medical Specialties, board certification within a medical specialty is actually a voluntary process. Board certification and medical licensure are two separate entities. A physician who is licensed to practice medicine has completed the minimum competency requirements to diagnose and treat patients; board certification shows that that physician has demonstrated “exceptional expertise in a particular specialty and/or subspecialty of that medical practice.

This certification includes a rigorous testing process and peer evaluation administered by specialists in that specific field of medicine. To ensure that a board-certified physician engaged in continuing education in order to stay current with changes within their field, it is required that doctors allpy for re-certification every six to ten years.

Basically, without a certification anybody with a medical license can claim to be a plastic surgeon without being actually trained as such. Be aware of what certification board actually issued the certification. Many of these boards are not legitimate. Look for your surgeon to be certified through the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This assures you that your doctor has graduated from an accredited university and medical school, completed a residency program and passed the certifying exam. This also indicates that your doctor engages in continuing education which signals the use of the most up-to-date standards and techniques for his specialty.