Once you make the decision to pursue plastic surgery, you will start evaluating different surgeons. Board certification should be one of the topics you focus on during your evaluation.
The term Board Certified gets thrown around here and there which makes it easy to overlook when evaluating a plastic surgeon. So, what exactly is it?
Board certification means a physician has taken and passed an examination in a particular medical specialty. Often, you will see information indicating a physician is a board eligible, which means the person has completed training and is eligible to take the exam. It is important that you understand that it does not mean the person is board certified, to wit, do not mix the two classifications up when evaluating a surgeon.
There are numerous specialties in the medical field, so being board certified may not always mean what it seems to when it comes to plastic surgery. Plastic surgery is a specialized form of medicine in which certification can be obtained. Other surgeons, however, can perform plastic surgery. For instance, a physician specializing in throat surgery can be board certified for that specialty, but perform plastic surgery for chins and so on. Although they are board certified in that area, they are not for plastic surgery.
When evaluating a plastic surgeon, you want to find out if they are board certified. Assuming they are, you then want to find out what medical specialty they are certified for! You may be surprised to learn it is not plastic surgery, which may also impact your decision on whether you should use the surgeon.
You might be wondering why medical professionals other than plastic surgeons would want to get into the field. In a majority of cases, a plastic surgery patient must pay for the surgery, not an insurance company. Insurance companies are notorious for slashing the billings of surgeons, so getting their full fee from plastic surgery is a very attractive option.
Board certified plastic surgeons have the best training and most experience. When evaluating surgeons, just make sure they are actually certified in plastic surgery!