Knowing that any MD can legally perform cosmetic procedures means taking time to educate yourself when choosing a surgeon. While gathering your information, it is important that you take the following qualifications and medical experience into consideration: where did the surgeon receive their medical license and where are they licensed to practice?
- Be sure your surgeon graduated from a recognized college of medicine.
- Check that the surgeon you are considering has licensure as a physician and surgeon in the state in which they practice.
- Confirm that the physician is operating in an accredited facility. This significantly reduces safety risks and will increase your comfort level.
Is the Surgeon Board Certified?
- A plastic surgeon’s certification by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons is the most important part of their credentials. This certification means the surgeon has had at least six years of training and experience in surgery, with three years specifically in plastic surgery. The surgeon operates only in accredited medical facilities, as mentioned above. They adhere to a strict code of ethics, fulfill continuing education requirements—including patient safety techniques—and will be a partner to you, working to achieve your goals.
- Another recognized certification may come from the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. This certification means being in at least the third year of active practice following board certification and participating in accredited Continuing Medical Education (CME) to stay current with developments in the field of cosmetic plastic surgery.
Is the Surgeon a Cosmetic or a Plastic Surgeon?
- A plastic surgeon is required to complete five to seven years of hospital residency, while any licensed physician can receive accreditation to become a cosmetic surgeon within as little as a weekend course.
- The title “board-certified plastic surgeon” indicates certain training and experience with respect to plastic surgery. A Cosmetic Surgeon may also be “board certified” but this does not indicate the same amount of training.