Did you know that legally, any doctor can perform any type of surgical procedure? There’s nothing in the law that says a foot surgeon can’t change out a heart valve, or an eye doctor can’t perform a liver transplant. Therefore, our society depends on patients themselves to learn about their doctors’ credentials and to ask about training and certification before they sign up for surgery.
Another thing you may not know is that many different groups of doctors have formed “boards” of this-and-that which have no national recognition whatsoever.
The highest authority in the country for medical education is called the American College of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). This institution declares what boards are worthy of approval, and in a sense they are the most important line of protection for the public in medicine.Of all the groups that practice, perform and sometimes dabble in cosmetic surgery, only the American Board of Plastic Surgeons (ABPS) has ACGME approval to provide board certification in Plastic Surgery.There can be treacherous waters out there – remember to ask the questions necessary to make sure your doctor is qualified. Is he or she ABPS certified?