Finding a qualified plastic surgeon can be challenging. Do not underestimate the complexity of this important task. Consider the following advice: Ask a friend: If a friend was satisfied with the care provided by a plastic surgeon, then chances are that you will be similarly pleased. Unfortunately, not everyone has a friend who has had plastic surgery.
Ask someone in the medical profession, such as your family doctor or a nurse: Keep in mind, however, that doctors and nurses may only be familiar with the physicians at their own hospitals, and they may refer to plastic surgeons based on personality or friendship rather than ability. They will also tend to refer to “hospital-based” plastic surgeons, who tend to perform mostly reconstructive surgery.
Make sure your plastic surgeon spends most of his or her time performing cosmetic surgery – especially the one your seek. Look for an experienced doctor who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery: Be aware of made-up boards that sound official and issue official-appearing certificates. These boards may sound impressive, but according to Joyce D. Nash, author of What Your Doctor Can’t Tell You About Cosmetic Surgery,( “Certification of competency from such organizations is probably meaningless.”)
Be certain to ask from which board certification was received. If your doctor is not certified by The ABPS, be suspicious. You may look in your telephone directory for cosmetic surgery, but beware: Know that in most metropolitan telephone directories, only about two thirds of the physicians listed under “Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons” are doctors who are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Some physicians listed in the plastic surgery section have absolutely no formal training in cosmetic surgery.
Telephone directories in most states do not require physicians to state from which board they received certification. Therefore, physicians may advertise under “Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons” and state they are board certified, but not be certified by the ASPS. The ASPS only inducts plastic surgeons who are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.