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Finding a Plastic Surgeon: Land of Confusion (part 2)

In yesterday’s blog, Houston plastic surgeon, Dr. Michael Eisemann, was proving some clarification on the differences among several boards:  The American Board of Plastic Surgery; The American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery; and, The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.  Before anyone becomes board certified for any specialty, s/he must graduate from an accredited medical school and be awarded a doctor of medicine (M.D.).  The American Board of Plastic Surgery requires both pre-requisite training and requisite training.  The pre-requisite training that can include any of these:  3 years of general surgery training in a clinical setting; residency in neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, urology, or otolaryngology; or, a residency program in maxillofacial surgery approved by the American Dental Association.  Requisite training for plastic surgery board certification requires the doctor to complete at least two (2) years of training in a recognized plastic surgery program.  After these requirements, the doctor must then pass rigorous, comprehensive oral and written exams.   The American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is actually not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties; however, in order to be a member of this organization, the doctor must already be board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or American Board of Otolaryngology.  This is not all that is required; if a doctor meets the pre-requisites above, then s/he may be certified by one of two methods:  completing a fellowship, or experience.  Both are rigorous hurdles and require passage of oral and written exams, and in some cases peer review of operative reports.  If you’re wondering about the American Boards of Cosmetic Surgery and/or Ophthalmology, stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog.

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