Most people do not really know what that means nor do they know what it means for the quality of care they receive.
In Orange County and around the nation, plastic surgery patients hear this all of the time: “Make sure your surgeon is board certified!” Believe it or not, some people shop around for the lowest price on a procedure and sometimes walk away dissatisfied with the result and soured on cosmetic health care overall. So, this begs the question: what exactly is a board certification and is it worth the extra money?
First things first, what exactly is board certification for doctors? It is more than a medical buzzword to be sure. Certification comes from many different sources and associations. These professional associations convene boards of medical experts to review the credentials as well as the work of the certification candidate. Associations granting board certification include the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Osteopathic Boards of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology.
Furthermore, a surgeon usually has to practice in the industry for a minimum amount of time before they can even begin the certification process; sometimes up to five years. Their academic credentials are evaluated and only those who have graduated from accredited and recognized institutions with a minimum grade point average. Once the candidate has met the time, education, and procedure requirements they must then sit for a written and practical examination. These exams are rigorous and are conducted under the eye of experienced physicians.
In an industry with a high degree of expertise and very small tolerances for error, peer review of a surgeon’s ability is generally at the heart of a board certification procedure.
After the evaluation period and the examinations have been completed, the professional association issues a certification; which is an official endorsement of the quality of care patients will receive. Certifications are not easily won and they are not dispensed from online diploma mills for a quick buck. In the final analysis, board certification in the plastic surgery community is a mark of quality and patients will be assured of an expert doctor with unparalleled ability.