The Importance of Board Certification
By Brian Kobienia, MD, FACS on February 26, 2011
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
In the world of cosmetic surgery new twists on old techniques are commonplace. Every medical specialty wants of piece of the elective surgery pie. Family practice doctors, gynecologists, general surgeons, dentists, dermatologists and oral surgeons are now claiming their skill at cosmetic surgery. Really?!? Buyer beware. Training and experience matter. Did you know that any medical school graduate with a medical license in the state of Minnesota can perform surgery? That’s like newly minted drivers license holders flying an airplane.
Board Certification in the field of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is the Gold Standard for training in Plastic Surgery in all its forms – cosmetic and reconstructive. Three to five years of prerequisite surgical training after medical school followed by plastic surgery fellowship training for another 2-3 years followed by a minimum of 2 years of real world experience are necessary before a plastic surgeon can even sit for the board certification oral and written tests. This is quite a bit different than a fly-in weekend course in Miami. Admittedly, some of the operations plastic surgeons do are not technically challenging. However, its not solely the act of surgery that makes you a surgeon, it’s the ability to educate the patient, perform the procedure, care for the patient during recovery, manage expectations and most importantly deal with any complications should they occur. Other medical specialists simply cannot do all these things well. They simply don’t have the training.
The American Board of Plastic Surgery has pushed the mandate forwarded by the American Board of Medical Specialists to ensure that board certification and continuing medical education are up to date.
Since 2000 plastic surgeons are required to document their cases, prove continued educational rigor and take a recertification test every decade. This and only this allows your plastic surgeon to proudly display the symbol of the American Society of Plastic Surgery that you see here.
As your board certified plastic surgeon, I am committed to fulfill the requirements of the Maintenance of Certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery for my education, for your safety, and for the good of the rapidly changing specialty of Plastic Surgery. In fact, in 2010 I successfully accomplished this. This is why I proudly display the symbol of American Society of Plastic Surgery.
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