I found a Dr that I really like with an American Board of Cosmetic Surgery Certification.. Is that adequate, or does he need to be a member of different societies? He is also a faculty member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Physicians. I'm doing a Mommy Makeover, and only want to do it once!
Is a Certification From ABCS the same as ABPS For a Mommy Makeover?
Doctor Answers 34
I concur fully with my colleages. The only certification in plastic surgery recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialities (ABMS) is board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. "Accept no imitations." Approach with caution and visit with a plastic surgeon in your area who is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. I've listed the website for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons - please use their doctor finder to find a plastic surgeon near you. Best of luck.
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
The minimum amount of training in plastic surgery that will allow a physician to be eligible for certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery is five years, and many board-certified plastic surgeons, myself included, have several additional years of training in general surgery and plastic surgery. There are a number of reasons for such a significant training requirement. Chief among them are the following: one does not acquire sophistication in diagnosis and treatment planning, superior surgical skill, and the capacity to minimize the possibility of complications and unfavorable outcomes by taking weekend courses. It requires years of training experience under the direction of talented mentors. It requires devotion to the art and practice of plastic surgery.
Be careful in evaluating physicians whose `Board Certification' is by a `Board' which is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), and who belong to an `Academy' that does not require residency training in plastic surgery. Some will claim that they are `double-' or even `triple-board certified', when only one (and occasionally none) of those `boards' are recognized by the ABMS. Visit the ABMS website to see which specialties have ABMS recognition.
Beware! You are probably not seeing a Plastic Surgeon
I would strongly advise you to be very careful in going to a non-board certified plastic surgeon for plastic surgery. The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery in not a real board, and does not represent real board certification. This is a self appointed board without the rigorous requirement for training as with the American Board of Plastic Surgery, which is the only board certification for plastic surgery. The majority of members of the America Academy of Cosmetic surgeons are not plastic surgeons and have not had formal plastic surgery training. In fact, the president of this organization is an oral surgeon.
It is wrong to consider cosmetic plastic surgery easy surgery that anyone who wears a white coat can do. It is serious surgery. Ask yourself, why are you not going to an expert for your medical care? Would you go to a dermatologist for brain surgery? Would you have had your child delivered by a psychiatrist?
But it is confusing, and the people who want to do plastic surgery and are not plastic surgeons are creating this confusion. However, there is a simple solution. Go to a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) -- we are all board certified.. Log on to our website at plasticsurgery.org, and look for the ASPS members in your area. At the very least, have a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. As you said, you only want to do this once. So, go see an expert.
I wish you all the best,
David B. Reath, MD
ASPS Member Surgeon
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Get thee to a plastic surgeon
I can only stress to you - use a board certified plastic surgeon. These doctor are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. That is the only board recognized by the American Board of medical Specialties.. Members of the Cosmetic Surgery board could be trained in OB/GYN, dermatology or even internal medicine. You can find a board certified plastic surgeon in your area by going to plasticsurgery.org . This is a classic case of let the buyer beware. Good luck and do your homework! Dr. Schuster in Boca Raton
ABCS certification--this is NOT an ABMS Board, and this physician is NOT a "real" plastic surgeon.
The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery is NOT an American Board of Medical Specialties member Board--it is a self-designated "board" that "certifies" physicians of various specialties who wish to perform cosmetic surgery procedures--doctors with significantly less true surgical training (and often only via weekend "courses") than American Board of Plastic Surgery-certified plastic surgeons. That is why they call themselves "cosmetic surgeons;" they are NOT fully-trained "real" plastic surgeons!
I like my Internal Medicine doctor a lot, but NO WAY would I want him performing plastic surgery of ANY KIND on me or a loved one. The same goes for Dermatologists, Family Practitioners, and General Surgeons, all of whom can obtain "certification" by the "American Board of Cosmetic Surgery."
Being a faculty member only means that this non-plastic surgeon "teaches" other non-plastic surgeons how to confuse gullible patients into thinking they will obtain care equivalent to that obtainable from a fully-trained, ABPS-certified "real" plastic surgeon!
Not even a properly-trained, American Board of Plastic Surgery-certified, experienced plastic surgeon can guarantee mommy makeover results, but you have a much higher chance of sucessful outcome and superior results with a surgeon who has completed the FULL training (6-7 years) to become a plastic surgeon, not just a few weeks, months, or just a couple of weekend courses after their training in an entirely different specialty that has little or nothing to do with plastic surgery..
Click on the link below for a New York Times article about this very topic! Then schedule some consultations with several "real" plastic surgeons--American Board of Plastic Surgery-certified. Best wishes and thanks for asking!
“Self proclaimed board versus a legitimate board”
The multitude of alphabet soup organizations and boards is very confusing for patients. The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) and the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) sound nearly the same, but there are vast differences. The American Board of Plastic Surgery is a real nationally recognized board, while the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery is a self proclaimed group of individuals who wanted to try to legitimize their entry into the field of cosmetic surgery without the required legitimate credentials (actual completion of formal supervised plastic surgery training and board certification). They have specifically chosen that name for a marketing benefit based on deception.
The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) oversees 24 medical specialty boards in the United States and is considered the gold standard of physician certification in the United States. While the naming of the boards seems similar, there is only one official plastic surgery board that is accepted in the U.S. and recognized by the ABMS as the standard for plastic surgery - and that is the American Board of Plastic Surgery. The designation as a Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery is reserved for surgeons that have completed a lengthy surgical residency training in plastic surgery, and then passed both the official extensive written and oral examinations under the strict rules of the ABMS organization. It is the highest standard available in the U.S. for plastic surgeons. Members of the American Board of Plastic Surgery are listed on both the ABPS’ and ABMS’ websites.
The ABCS and several other so-called boards with similar sounding names are not recognized by the ABMS. ABCS is a self-designated "board" that "certifies" physicians of various specialties who wish to perform cosmetic surgery procedures--doctors who may have minimal if any true surgical training (and often only via weekend "courses”). They accept and credential physicians who do not necessarily have residency training in plastic surgery including general surgeons, emergency medicine doctors, family practitioners dermatologists, obstetric-gynecologists and others who can take their "certification" exam...without ever having undergone a single day of plastic surgery residency training. In some cases they have no formal surgery residency training at all.
Furthermore, there are no cosmetic surgery certifications that are recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialists, nor is there any “board”, organization or academy that has the word “cosmetic” in it that is recognized by the ABMS. In addition the Medical Board of California formally rejected the ABCS’ application and request to be recognized as having legitimate board status. That rejection was legally upheld.
An additional understanding of the alphabet of valid plastic surgical organizations is beneficial. Members of the American Board of Plastic Surgery are able to become members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Membership is an indication of appropriate prerequisite plastic surgery training, board certification and adherence to a board of ethical practice guidelines. Members of the American Society of plastic surgery can be found at the American Society of Plastic Surgery web site.
Board certified plastic surgeons in the United States as well as certified plastic surgeon from other countries can become members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). These surgeons have appropriate prerequisite plastic surgery training, board certification, adherence to a board of ethical practice guidelines, and a specific focus and experience in aesthetic (cosmetic) plastic surgery.
Since there are risks in any surgical procedure and no one can guarantee a perfect result, a patient should seek the most fully trained individual for plastic surgical procedures like a “mommy makeover” to maximize the probability of a good outcome. Your health and well being depend on it. If a member of my family or staff were to undergo the procedure, I would insist that they seek out a real plastic surgeon who is board certified as a diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Robert Singer, MD FACS
The American Board of plasticsurgery and alphabet soup.
It is very confusing for the average patient to understand the variety of letters that go along with credentialing in this country. It's like alphabet soup.
The American Board of plastic surgery is the only board in the country that certifies board certified plastic surgeons. Their initials are ABPS. Members of the American Board of plastic surgery are listed on their website.
Members of the American Board of plastic surgery are able to become members of the American Society of plastic surgery or the ASPS. The logo for the ASPS is plastered all over this website. Members of the American Society of plastic surgery can be viewed at the American Society for plastic surgery web site. This is an indication of ethical standing and appropriate prerequisite training.
Board certified plastic surgeons in the United States as well as certified plastic surgeon from other countries can become members of ASAPS the American Society for aesthetic plastic surgery whose members can be found at their website. This represents a specific interest in cosmetic or aesthetic plastic surgery.
Now here's where it gets even more confusing. The American Board of plasticsurgery is held to the standards of the ABMS or the American Board of medical specialties.
The American Board of medical specialties basically oversees 24 medical specialty boards in the United States and considers itself the gold standard of Physician certification in the United States.
So if I were going to have cosmetic or any other plastic surgery I would want to find a board certified or board eligible plastic surgeon who is certified, or going to be certified, by the American Board of plastic surgery, (which is recognized by the American Board of medical specialties.)
I would like it if that surgeon were a member of the American Society of plastic surgery which is a recognition of good ethical standing and appropriate requisite requirements.
If I were having aesthetic surgery I would also be looking for surgeon who was a member of the American Society for aesthetic plastic surgery which indicates a special interest in aesthetic or cosmetic surgery.
I would also want to like and be comfortable with that surgeon.
The board certified or board eligible plastic surgeon credential is the most important part because it takes a while for physicians to gain the credentialing they need after they begin practice to become certified and go on to become members of the ASPS and the ASAPS. A board eligible surgeon just usually means that they are at the beginning of their career, but it doesn't mean they're not good at what they do.
So in your situation, the American Board of cosmetic surgery does not fall into the guidelines that I listed above and is not a board that is recognized by the American Board of medical specialties.
I hope that this helps to clarify for you what is indeed a very confusing set of letters.
Do your homework on board certification
You have gotten very good advice regarding the difference betwen American Board of Plastic Surgery and American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. It is very confusing for patients as the two boards sound nearly the same. Intentionally misleading. Read my blog post for more...
York Yates, MD - Utah.
Not All Board Certifications Are The Same
The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) certifies only surgeons who have completed both General Surgery and Plastic Surgery training in accredited residency programs and have passed a rigorous series of written and oral exams. They then may apply for membership in The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Those who specialize in cosmetic Plastic Surgery may apply for membership in The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). You can be assured that surgeons with these credentials are well trained. The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery and several other so-called boards with similar sounding names are not recognized boards. They accept and credential physicians who do not have residency training in plastic surgery. In some cases they have no surgery residency training at all. This can result in a family practice doc doing your breast augmentation or tummy tuck. Bad idea! Look at credentials closely. Insist on ABPS and ASPS or even better, ASAPS in the credentials.
Don't be fooled by fake boards!!
Stay away from this surgeon!!!!!!!! There are NO cosmetic surgery certifications that are recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialists. This is because you can get these 'certifications' by sending in a list of cases and some money. They do not require ANY actual training in plastic surgery. Don't be one of those patients who regret not doing their homework and wind up spending thousands of dollars but get bad results only because they did not go to a real board certified plastic surgeon. Don't fall for fake boards!!!
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.