Is Being Board Certified Enough??

As long as the surgeon I've chosen for my procedure is ASPS certified, should I feel at ease even if he has been practicing only 2 years? I just can't tell if this is a red flag or if the training is rigorous enough to where I should feel plenty safe. He works out of the hospital, which seems to be a huge plus.

Doctor Answers 5

Certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) is a place to start

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Your question is a very good one. Certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery means that yoour surgeon has had at least 5 years of surgical training, 18 months of post residency experience, and has passed a rigorous series of written and oral examinations. Experience always counts for alot, but we are very well trained when we finally get our Boards. I would point out though that your question mentions "ASPS certified."  The ASPS is the American Society of Plastic Surgery, a membership organization which is not synonomous with certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Is board certification alone sufficient criteria for surgeon selection

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I want to clarify. ASPS  does not equal ABPS. This is one very important criteria but not the only one. Reputation at the hospital and among the community are also quite important.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Board Certification is a good place to start...

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Hi there-

In other words, I would never consider allowing a surgeon who wasn't certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery to operate on me (for a plastic surgery procedure).

On the other hand, once I was assured of this important achievement, I would proceed with other important questions... Do I like and trust the surgeon? Do I think I'll be able to maintain a good relationship with them? Do they seem interested in the quality of not only my outcome, but also my experience? What are his outcomes like? Are other patients happy with his work and their experience in the practice?

Look at the big picture.... Board Certification is a good starting point. For more on this topic, please read below.

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Board certification enough?

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Board certification is important because it means that the individual as completed and passed all his studies in his designated field. As for experience, you really have to go by the prior results and see what they are like.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

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I agree.  It is very important that you are seen and treated by a board certified surgeon.  Earning a board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery is not easy and ensures that you are seeing and being treated by someone with the highest training possible for a general plastic surgeon. 

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.