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Below is an excerpt from Health Digest News
The public is generally unaware that any licensed doctor can perform cosmetic surgery in a noncertified office-based setting and advertise themselves as a “cosmetic” surgeon without having proper training in that area of medicine. Lack of adequate training may jeopardize patient safety and result in undesirable surgical outcomes. The new Maryland law will help patients choose only qualified doctors by identifying whether a surgeon has been properly trained and certified to perform the services he or she is advertising.
Board certification is a subject that can be difficult to understand, particularly as it relates to plastic surgery. In addition to the ABMS–a nonprofit organization that develops professional standards for doctors to serve the public good–there are hundreds of self-designated boards in the U.S. that are not recognized by the ABMS, many of which relate to cosmetic plastic surgery procedures. Under the new Maryland law, doctors will not be available to advertise that they are “board certified” by one of these unapproved, self-designated boards.
Studies have shown that 90% of the public wants a board certified plastic surgeon to perform their cosmetic or reconstructive procedures, but the lack of regulations and questionable marketing practices have made it difficult for the consumer to determine a doctor's true area of specialty. ABPS board certification is voluntary and involves a rigorous process of examination and peer review, with specific requirements on education and training. To be certified in plastic surgery by the ABPS, a candidate complete these requirements:
- Be a graduate of an accredited medical school
- Have completed a prerequisite surgical residency program (usually three
to five years)
- Have completed training in an approved plastic surgery program (usually
two to three years)
- Have been recommended for ABPS eligibility by the chairperson of their
- Have passed a rigorous written and an oral exam
- Have submitted a list of all operations performed
- Have met ABPS ethical and moral standards
With the passage of the new law, consumers in Maryland can feel confident they are selecting a qualified plastic surgeon specifically trained in that demanding discipline.