What Is Board Certification, and Why Does It Matter?

Surgically improving your appearance means you need to spend a significant amount of time and effort finding a physician you can trust. Before committing to treatment, you should do your homework on your doctor’s educational background and be confident in their credentials. After all, it is legal for any physician to perform cosmetic surgery, even if that discipline was not the field they chose to study in medical school.

Plastic surgeons who have received certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery have not only completed extensive training in plastic surgery but have passed an exhaustive series of tests to confirm their mastery of their craft. As you are narrowing down your shortlist of potential cosmetic surgeons, here’s a closer look at what board certification entails, as well as four reasons to make sure the doctor you choose to perform your procedure is board-certified.

Why Do Some Doctors Strive for Board Certification?

Earning board certification is entirely voluntary, and not all doctors choose to pursue it. Board certification goes above and beyond meeting the minimum requirements for medical licensure. 

Currently, the American Board of Plastic Surgery is the only plastic surgery board that is approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties. To earn their certification, a surgeon must first complete an approved residency in plastic surgery, then pass a rigorous series of written and oral examinations.

Four Advantages of Choosing a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

We have all heard horror stories of plastic surgeries gone awry. Under the right care, however, you can not only achieve your aesthetic goals but also rest assured you will have a safe and comfortable recovery. Here are the top four reasons to seek a board-certified surgeon to perform your desired procedure.

1. Specialized training: All physicians dedicate years to training, but not all of them get trained in surgery. Becoming a board-certified plastic surgeon requires a doctor to complete at least five years of surgical training after medical school, including a residency in plastic surgery. You can feel confident a board-certified plastic surgeon has the training required to help you achieve your cosmetic goals.

2. Continuing education: Once a physician has earned board certification, their journey isn’t over. To maintain their status, they must stay on the cutting edge of their field by participating in continuing education programs.

3. Aesthetic expertise: Plastic surgery is unique as a medical discipline because it combines both art and science. Board-certified surgeons are trained to perform surgery on both the face and the body, and their expertise includes years of hands-on reconstructive surgery that sharpens their sense of both function and form. Successful plastic surgery requires exquisite attention to detail, extensive anatomical knowledge, and a highly refined sense of aesthetics.

4. Dedication to patient care and medical ethics: The intensive process of earning board certification requires an additional commitment of time and energy over and above getting a medical degree and a license to practice. Going this extra mile indicates your plastic surgeon has committed to upholding the utmost in patient safety and the integrity of their profession.

Board Certification Matters to You

Selecting a plastic surgeon is a serious decision. There are a variety of factors you should add to your list of things to research – including personality, experience, technique, honesty, and ability – but board certification should be at the very top. 

Many inexperienced and less qualified doctors try to attract patients by advertising that they offer procedures at the lowest costs, but choosing a surgeon based solely on price is a mistake you will eventually come to regret. No matter how much you think you are saving on your cosmetic procedure of choice, your health and well-being are priceless. The best way to protect them is to work with a plastic surgeon who has undergone proper training.

A Leading Cosmetic Surgeon in Northern Virginia

Whether you’re considering getting a procedure on your face, breasts, or body, you’ll want the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re in the most competent hands. As you consider plastic surgery, remember the benefits of board certification: surgical experience, technical skill, sound judgment, and dedication to patient safety. 

Dr. Eric Desman received his initial board certification in 1999 and got re-certified in 2009. Dr. Desman derives tremendous satisfaction from his profession, and he has helped thousands of patients in Alexandria, Washington, D.C., and all of Northern Virginia achieve their aesthetic goals.

Contact us at the Virginia Center for Plastic Surgery for a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Eric Desman.