Myth: All Cosmetic Surgeons are Equally “Qualified”

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It is indeed a myth that all cosmetic surgeons are equally qualified. In a recent survey conducted by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), 87 percent of people responding believed that surgeons must have special credentials and training to perform cosmetic surgery, or to advertise themselves as aesthetic/cosmetic/plastic surgeons. The alarming results showed the complete confusion regarding qualifications needed to perform cosmetic surgery. Plastic surgeons need at least six years of residency training following medical school to be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, compared to just one single year for certification by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. However, there are no laws prohibiting any physician from advertising as a cosmetic surgeon straight out of medical school or anytime thereafter.

The popularity and mainstream acceptance of cosmetic surgery, which is perhaps amplified by social media, has helped to create the ever-growing marketplace. My advice to anyone considering cosmetic surgery is to carefully check the credentials of their physician. How do you find a board certified cosmetic plastic surgeon? The American Board of Plastic Surgery maintains a nationwide database to search board certification status of surgeons, by clicking here. The ABPS logo above signifies membership and board certification, an organization to which I am proud to belong.

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