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What It Means to Be a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

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When seeking a plastic surgeon, one should look for someone knowledgeable, reputable, skilled, and experienced. Many plastic surgeons have a long list of training they’ve undergone and associations they’re members of, but does that mean they’re the highest-quality plastic surgeons out there?

Diverse Team of Professional surgeon, Assistants and Nurses Performing Invasive Surgery

For any doctor or surgeon, board certification shows their commitment and dedication to their field of medicine. It means that they have undertaken education beyond the minimal standards and competencies required by their chosen specialty.

Dr. Dan Shell has been a board-certified plastic surgeon for nearly 15 years, providing his patients with unparalleled surgical services through experience and continuing education.

What Is Required for Board Certification in Plastic Surgery?

The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) is the entity in the United States that certifies qualified plastic surgeons.

Board-certified plastic surgeons must accomplish the following:

  • Once they’ve earned their doctor of medicine degree, board-certified plastic surgeons must undergo at least six years of surgical training through an accredited plastic surgery training program in the U.S. or Canada.
  • They must undergo rigorous written and oral testing and possess an unrestricted medical license.
  • They also must commit to completing 10 to 50 hours of continuing education.
  • Finally, they must maintain their board certification by retesting every three years and getting recertified every ten years.

Are Cosmetic Surgeons the Same as Plastic Surgeons?

“Plastic surgeon” and “cosmetic surgeon” are terms that are often used interchangeably. However, there are crucial differences between the two. A cosmetic surgeon may say they’re board certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS), but what does that mean?

In a nutshell, it means that you’re choosing to undergo surgery by someone who may not have the surgical training you would want.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), more than 60% of doctors “board certified” by the ABCS were performing procedures outside the scope of their residency training. ABCS certification requirements are much less stringent than ABPS requirements, so much so that in 2018, the State of California ruled that ABCS diplomates cannot advertise themselves as board certified.

While most medical specialties require surgeons to be board certified in order to practice, the field of plastic surgery does not. In many places, any medical doctor can perform plastic surgery if they choose, but that doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing. That’s why it is essential to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon when you’re ready to undergo a cosmetic procedure.

How to Find Out if Your Plastic Surgeon Is Board Certified

  • Look at the “about” page on their website. Most plastic surgeons list their credentials, and you can see if they are American Board of Plastic Surgery certified.
  • Check the ABPS website and use their search tool to find your surgeon’s name.
  • Make sure your surgeon has surgical privileges at a local hospital. Even if your plastic surgeon uses a surgical center or in-office surgical suite, the ABPS requires that board-certified plastic surgeons have privileges with at least one hospital in case of emergency.

Learn More About Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Dan Shell

No matter what type of plastic surgery you seek, the most important thing you can do is find a truly qualified surgeon to perform the procedure. Research, ask questions, and understand that the most reputable plastic surgeons not only offer gorgeous results but also do so with your safety in mind.

For more information about the cosmetic surgery options at Shell Plastic Surgery, call 662-236-6465 or fill out our online contact form.