Surgeons with this certification have completed a minimum of five years of surgical training following medical school, including an approved residency program in plastic surgery.
After training, a surgeon must pass comprehensive oral and written exams for certification. ABPS certification indicates a surgeon’s qualifications to perform plastic and reconstructive surgery of the face and the entire body.
Don’t be confused by other official-sounding boards and certifications. The ABPS is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), which has approved medical specialty boards since 1934. There is no ABMS-recognized certifying board for plastic and reconstructive surgery.
Not every doctor who used the title plastic surgeon has the training to qualify for ABPS certification. In most states, any doctor with a medical license can advertise as a plastic and reconstructive surgeon. To verify a doctor’s board certification, consult The Official ABMS Directory of Board Certified Medical Specialists (available at most libraries), call the ABMS toll-free at 1-800-275-2267, or visit www.abms.org.
Plastic surgeons in Canada are board certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. If you live outside the United States, check your surgeon’s affiliation with a member society of the International Confederation for Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgery (IPRAS), or the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS).