In many states, including California, any licensed physician is legally allowed to perform cosmetic procedures without being board-certified in plastic surgery.
There are 24 boards within the “gold standard” American Board of Medical Specialities (ABMS). Of these 24, there is only one which certifies plastic surgeons, the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Because a physician is “board-certified” does not mean they are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery as they can be certified by any of the other 23 specialties or another board.
To be ABPS board certified, a physician must meet these rigid requirements:
- Graduate from an accredited medical school
- Complete a combination of at least five years of general, ENT, or Urology surgery and 3 years plastic surgery residency training or 6 years of plastic surgery training
- Pass comprehensive written and oral exams, including case log examinations to ensure your plastic surgeon is safe