How Does a Surgeon Become Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?

The recent influx of news stories surrounding fake plastic surgeons performing cosmetic procedures in salons and the like demonstrates that the refrain can never be overstated: Do your research when planning for plastic surgery! These instances emphasize the importance of patient education and finding a board certified plastic surgeon. The people featured in the news were often looking for a deal on cosmetic surgery and were duped by people posing as qualified surgeons.

The American Board of Plastic Surgeons (ABPS) has a standard set of criteria that surgeons must meet before becoming board certified. The process is voluntary, meaning surgeons can choose to become board certified after their training by passing the ABPS written and oral exams. Before exams, every surgeon must have graduated from an accredited medical school and completed at least five years of additional training as a resident surgeon through an accredited program. These years of additional training can include specialty training like Dr. Fernando Burstein’s training in otolaryngology (specialized surgery of the head and neck) in which he is also certified.

Certification takes a long time to achieve for a reason. The more experience you have, the better you become. Dr. Burstein was certified by the ABPS in 1991 and is an active member of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons. Specializing in facial plastic surgery, Dr. Burstein performs everything from facelift surgery to combat signs of aging to reconstructive procedures for adults and children to remedy congenital defects and the results of trauma.

Before choosing a plastic surgeon, it’s imperative to research him or her thoroughly. Ask for certifications and organization memberships. Look up testimonials  from previous patients, and find the surgeon’s before and after galleries to see the results others achieved. Board certification is more than just a title, it’s earned.

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