Choosing a Surgeon
Q: How does a doctor become board certified?
There are many plastic surgeons in Louisiana, but only certain ones posess an important distinction - board certification. When a doctor is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Inc. you can be sure that your doctor has graduated from an accredited medical school and has completed at least five years of additional training as a resident surgeon. This includes a minimum three-year residency in an accredited general surgery program and a minimum two-year residency in plastic surgery. To become certified, the doctor then must successfully complete comprehensive written and oral exams. Board certification is a voluntary process, so it's important ask about it when comparing plastic surgeons in Shreveport, Monroe and Alexandria, LA, and across the state.
Q. Why is the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Inc. (ABPS) different from other plastic surgery (or cosmetic surgery) boards?
The ABPS is one of the 24 specialty boards recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). It is the only ABMS board that certifies within the full spectrum of the entire plastic surgery specialty.
Q. What is the difference between being a member of a society, association or academy and being a diplomate of ABPS?
The ABPS Diplomate is a certified physician who has met the requirements outlined above. The mission of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Inc. is to promote safe, ethical, efficacious plastic surgery to the public by maintaining high standards for the examination and certification of plastic surgeons as specialists and sub-specialists. Societies are professional associations. The specific society, association or academy should be contacted for specific membership requirements and mission.
Q. Define accreditation, certification and licensure.
Licensure is designed as minimum standard necessary to practice medicine. It is a public function, administered by the states, and the standards are established through a public process. All actions taken - both in granting a license and in restricting or withdrawing a license - are matters of public record. Licensure is not specialty-specific and permits an individual to provide to the public any medical or surgical service he/she desires.
A Louisiana plastic surgeon's certification by a specialty board attests to 1) completion of a prescribed set of education and training requirements in a specialty of medicine beyond the minimum requirements for licensure and 2) passage of examination that test the fund of knowledge in that specialty. Most specialties now also require periodic recertification, which generally requires completion of specified continuing education and successful completion of a further examination testing the fund of knowledge in that specialty.
Many health care organizations and health plans now require certification in order to provide services in the relevant specialty area. Board-certified physicians govern these specialty Boards in their area of expertise.
Accreditation is awarded to licensed physicians who have conducted their professional activities in accordance with standards set to define quality in professional practice. These standards include ethical behavior; absence of disciplinary actions by hospitals, licensing agencies, or financing programs; participation in peer review; participation in clinical self-assessment; operation of a safe, patient-centered practice that meets criteria for quality and participation in measurement of clinical performance and patient care results, including patient satisfaction. Accreditation is not specialty-specific. Accreditation reports include information on the physician's license status and specialty board certification. The American Medical Accreditation Program can be contacted for further information.
Copyright © 2008 The American Board of Plastic Surgery, Inc.