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“What does Board-Certification in Plastic Surgery mean for patients?" 
By: Dr. Leppink

The process of attaining Board-Certification in Plastic Surgery is rigorous and necessary. Having a group of Plastic Surgeons recognized by their peers (The Board) who certify that a new Plastic Surgeon is good enough to be part of the specialty should assure prospective patients that they are receiving the best possible care. Not only does the prospective Plastic Surgeon have to survive a long and difficult residency (at least 6 years) with yearly testing exams, but upon finishing there is another very hard test (failure rate of 15-20% on average) and then another oral exam that includes a review of the candidates own cases randomly selected from their first year in practice. Even after the certification is achieved the board requires yearly education hours and case review in Plastic Surgery, culminating in a re-certification test every 10 years. The board also requires that all Board-certified Plastic Surgeons operate in an accredited surgical facility, to assure the safety of their patients.
By contrast, the Board of Cosmetic Surgery does not require a Plastic Surgery Residency, although some of their requirements mirror that of the Board of Plastic Surgery.

Please look for the Board-certified Plastic Surgeon in your area for your care (and the Maintenance of Certification emblem) to be sure that you are receiving the best possible care!

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