Before Plastic Surgery: Part II -
Choosing Wisely

In part one of this series, we discussed the importance of having a clear understanding of your goals for Plastic Surgery and the reasons why they should be only your goals and not the goals of others. In this segment we will emphasize the importance of choosing the correct plastic surgeon.

Choosing a plastic surgeon has become incredibly confusing, as the public is unaware of what truly constitutes a plastic surgeon. Often the confusion centers on the phrase "board certified." The use of the phrase "board certified" is often cheapened, as the law allows its use as part of company's name, when it incorporates.

The American Medical Association recognizes the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) as the sole organization for certifying physician achievement and competence in all specialties of medicine. The ABMS is the "gold standard" for "board certification." The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is the umbrella organization for all medical specialists, such as the board that certifies Internal Medicine physicians, the American Board of Internal medicine, or Neurosurgeons through the American Board of Neurological Surgery. Plastic Surgery is no different. The American Board of Plastic Surgery has been a member of the ABMS since 1941, and is responsible for insuring that those Los Angeles Plastic Surgeons that earn the title of "board certified in Plastic Surgery" have met the highest standards of proficiency.

The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) requires a physician to complete the highest quality of medical education and residency training, followed by rigorous testing before awarding board certification. In addition to graduating from an accredited American medical school, on must complete the arduous training process of an accredited plastic surgery residency program. This usually takes between 6 to 8 years to complete following the usual four years of medical school. Once that is completed an intense testing process requires passage of a two-day written test, followed by an oral test, which evaluates the physicians practice for one year to insure the doctor exhibits both correct medical judgment and ethical behavior. Of course the successful completion of this process does not guarantee a patient a perfect or complication-free result, but it does assure that an ABPS certified plastic surgeon is deeply committed to their specialty. When considering coming to Beverly Hills for plastic surgery, one should always look for a plastic surgeon with the proper board certification.

In the parts III and IV of this series of articles, we will discuss the importance of safety and good health, when considering plastic surgery.