RealSelf, an excellent online resource for patients considering plastic surgery, recently published results of a survey showing that most patients out there believe board certification is an important factor when making choices about their medical care. I was glad to see that, because board certification is something that I and many other in plastic surgeons in Chicago take very seriously.
Unfortunately, according to the RealSelf survey, although many patients say they care about the issue, they aren’t aware of which boards matter most, and some even chose a made-up board when asked to pick the “most important” one. I’d like to clear up some of the confusion and explain why board certification is so important to me — and my patients.
The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) is the most well-respected board in the industry, as well as the only one recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), an important group in U.S. medicine. I am also certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology (ABOto), an ABMS member board that certifies head and neck surgeons, which is less common among those who practice cosmetic procedures but also very well-regarded.
These boards require surgeons to complete rigorous certification processes that exceed those of all other boards that claim to “certify” plastic surgeons. Board certification is voluntary and demonstrates a commitment to the profession and specific specialty. Here’s what each of those boards require:
- ABPS: Members must graduate from an accredited medical school, complete at least 5 years of additional training as resident surgeon in an accredited program (including at least 2 years devoted to plastic surgery), and pass both written and oral examinations.
- ABOto: In addition to graduating from an accredited medical school and residency program, surgeons must pass demanding written and oral exams and maintain their certification periodically throughout their careers.
Because of all these requirements, I’m very proud to call myself a board-certified plastic surgeon. This designation signals to patients that I’ve been thoroughly vetted by prestigious organizations, and I also benefit from the knowledge shared among board members.
Throughout my career, I’ve considered it extremely beneficial for my patients to pursue additional training and education, in addition to performing research myself, which allows me to offer techniques that address each person’s unique needs. For example, I’ve conducted extensive research into wound healing and scar prevention so I can achieve optimal results in cosmetic surgery while minimizing tissue injury.
The technical side of aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery is vital, of course. But my team and I are also dedicated to ensuring that our patients are informed and confident through each step of the treatment process by fostering an environment where communication is encouraged. We truly want patients to have all their questions answered so that we can create excellent, long-lasting results.
Women and men who elect to undergo cosmetic procedures deserve nothing less than the very best personal care. If you’re interested in getting plastic surgery and have any questions about my board certification, techniques, or other details, please contact me to set up a consultation.