Resources and Legislation — For Patients and Professionals
The American Board of Plastic Surgery is one of the 24 specialty boards recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). It is the only ABMS Board that certifies physicians in the entire specialty of plastic surgery.
By choosing a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, patients can rest assured that their surgeon 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 must then successfully complete comprehensive written and oral exams. Board certification is a voluntary process.
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 a series of examinations that test the fund of knowledge in that specialty. Most specialties now also call for periodic recertification, which generally requires completion of specified continuing education and successful completion of a further examination testing the applicant’s fund of knowledge in that specialty. Many health care organizations and health plans now demand certification in order to provide services in the relevant specialty area. Board-certified physicians govern boards in the relevant specialty.
The most important stage of the plastic surgery process is choosing the right surgeon. When patients choose surgeons they are comfortable with, they are much more likely to be happy with the results of their procedure. Choosing a surgeon should be an involved process with several important steps.
An excellent way to start is by asking for recommendations from friends, relatives, or co-workers who have undergone a similar procedure. Another good option is to ask for a referral from a medical health professional – either a personal acquaintance or a primary care physician.
Any high-quality surgeon should be happy to provide detailed information on their past performance, including before-and-after pictures and testimonials. Patients should consult a number of surgeons before selecting the one they think is best for their case.
The most important indicator of a surgeon’s ability is his or her level of experience and past performance. The more successful procedures of a given type that a doctor has performed, the better he or she will be able to deal with the particulars of a new case. Board certification by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons or another similar organization is a good indicator of the quality of care a surgeon will provide. It is important to remember, however, that practical experience and procedure-specific expertise are the qualities that truly distinguish the best surgeons.
Another key to achieving satisfactory results is to be active in the decision-making process. A good surgeon should ask patients what they want, and should clearly and confidently answer questions. He or she should provide all the relevant information, including risks, alternatives, and fees, and then leave the final decision to the patient. Ultimately, the right surgeon will make the patient feel comfortable, confident, and well-informed. If patients know what to expect, they are much more likely to be satisfied with the results of plastic surgery.
Dermal Fillers: Polylactic Acid
Body Contouring After Major Weight Loss
Brand Name Procedures and Treatments
Breast Lift Surgery
Laser and Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction
Breast Reduction for Men
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Men and Plastic Surgery
Dermal Fillers: Calcium Hydroxylapatite
Skin Rejuvenation and Resurfacing
Dermal Fillers: Collagen
Spider Vein Treatment
Dermal Fillers: Hyaluronic Acid
Dermal Fillers: PMMA
Dermal Fillers: Polyalkylimide
Connecticut state law now requires that all licensed physicians and surgeons undergo a minimum of 50 hours of continuing medical education every two years. This policy is in effect for all license renewals beginning on October 1, 2007.
Qualifying continuing medical education (CME) courses include those offered or approved by the American Medical Association, the American Osteopathic Association, the Connecticut Hospital Association, the Connecticut State Medical Society, county medical societies or equivalent organizations in other jurisdictions, educational offerings sponsored by a health care institution, and courses offered either by a regionally accredited academic institution or a state or local health department.