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Warning On Fake Board Certifications

Posted: 6:21 p.m. Friday, August 14, 2015

By Anita Mandal, M.D.
Question: I had CO2 laser which caused scarring. My cosmetic surgeon belongs to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery but I’ve learned it’s not a real board and he is not even a plastic surgeon. How can you know if a plastic surgeon is certified by the right board?

Answer: Finding a qualified plastic surgeon can be overwhelming. Many physicians perform cosmetic procedures with no formal plastic surgery training and no legitimate board certification to perform cosmetic procedures.

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) sets the highest standards for medical specialty practice, certification and expertise. Physicians must meet these high standards to become Board Certified. Many hospitals and health organizations require ABMS certification as well.

Only two plastic surgery boards are ABMS recognized boards: the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery. The ABMS also does not certify cosmetic surgeons. It is noteworthy that cosmetic surgeons are not necessarily plastic surgeons.

Many non-ABMS boards and self designated “boards” have failed to meet the high standards of the ABMS. The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) which you mentioned is not an ABMS board. Many members are dentists, gynecologists, dermatologists and internists performing cosmetic procedures. To add to this confusion, boards exist in anti-aging, laser surgery, etc but are not recognized by the ABMS.

Verify your plastic surgeon is certified by an ABMS plastic surgery board at www.certificationmatters.org.

It is a misconception to think you should only seek a surgeon for surgery. Facial Plastic Surgeons have in-depth knowledge of facial anatomy and expertise in both non-surgical and surgical facial aesthetic treatments. Each time you have a non-surgical cosmetic procedure by a less qualified doctor, you increase your risk of complications and poorer results. When it comes to your face, why would you consider less than a Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon? Log on to ABFPRS.org.

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