For anyone considering the potentially life-changing event of cosmetic plastic surgery, the most important decision is the cosmetic plastic surgeon they choose.  Finding a truly qualified cosmetic plastic surgeon, a TRUE Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon, is the critical step to assure a successful outcome.

Few people realize that after medical school and only one year of internship, a doctor can get a license to practice medicine and surgery.  Unbelievably, a licensed doctor can then call themselves any type of doctor they choose (including a cosmetic plastic surgeon), and attempt specialized procedures even if they have not had adequate training.  Some of these doctors who are board certified in other areas other than plastic surgery also claim to be “board certified” plastic or cosmetic surgeons.

In contrast, TRUE Plastic Surgeons undergo at least 5 years of residency training after medical school.  This includes at least 3 years of surgery training and 2 to 3 years of specialized residency training in plastic surgery.  This extensive commitment ensures that TRUE Plastic Surgeons are fully educated and skilled in both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the face, breasts, and entire body.

After plastic surgery residency, the TRUE Plastic Surgeon can then attempt board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) which involves a lengthy and difficult process of case review and written and oral examinations. The ABPS is the only board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties to certify a plastic surgeon who has been fully trained in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the entire body.

While many other board certifications exist, no other board certification is equivalent to the highly specialized and exclusive American Board of Plastic Surgery to signify the most extensive training in plastic surgery, including both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.

This is extremely important to know when choosing a cosmetic plastic surgeon.  There are many less qualified physicians attempting to perform cosmetic surgery procedures.  Many of these doctors have other official sounding board certifications, society memberships, academy memberships, associations, etc. which may exaggerate their actual training and credentials and are confusing to the public.  Unfortunately, the TRUE Cosmetic Plastic Surgeons routinely see dissatisfied patients who have been “treated” by such physicians.


The key questions to ask your potential cosmetic plastic surgeon are these:

  • Did you do complete an accredited Plastic Surgery residency training program?
  • Is Plastic Surgery your area of expertise?  Are you a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons?
  • Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
  • Do you have privileges in a major hospital to perform plastic surgery procedures?  Do you operate in licensed and accredited surgical facilities?

Any form of a “No” response to any of the above questions should raise a red flag and be an indication to look elsewhere.

Remember, TRUE Cosmetic Plastic Surgeons can be easily recognized by the T.R.U.E. criteria:

  • Training in an accredited Plastic Surgery Program which includes both  Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Real Plastic Surgery Board Certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
  • Unrestricted Hospital admitting and operating Privileges in the specialty of Plastic Surgery
  • Expertise in both Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgeryof the entire body

For the best possible results with Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, choose a TRUE Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon.