What does it mean to be a board-certified plastic surgeon?
One of the most important steps when deciding to move forward with a surgical procedure is selecting the right kind of surgeon. Long Island has many great plastic surgeons to choose from, and many people find the options to be somewhat overwhelming. What kind of surgeon do I need? What type of questions should I ask? Why should I care if the surgeon is board certified? At Romanelli Cosmetic Surgery in Huntington, NY, we understand the confusion a patient may feel when it comes to choosing the right surgeon with the right credentials. That is why these are just a few of the many questions you should ask on your search to locate the best surgeon that meets your needs. Here’s a quick reference guide to help you understand the importance of selecting a board-certified plastic surgeon to perform your surgical procedure.
What does board-certified mean?
A quick answer is that the surgeon has voluntarily gone above and beyond the standard surgeon criteria and has exceptional expertise in a particular specialty or medical practice. The long answer is that in order to reach this level of expertise the surgeon must fulfill many years of rigorous training in which they gain valuable insight and experience along the way. This training involves several years of school and specific clinical experience. The board exams set the nationally accepted standards for experience and knowledge. Surgeons who are board-certified are held to the highest standards when it comes to skills, knowledge, training, ethics, judgment, and patient safety.
How much training does this require?
The minimal requirements necessary for a surgeon to receive their medical degree consists of a four year undergraduate program, followed by four years in medical school. Following this, if a surgeon is interested in becoming board-certified they must complete three years of residency in general surgery followed by a two to three year residency in plastic surgery training which must be completed in either the United States or Canada. A surgeon can also go one step further and become officially certified in a specialty by completing a one year fellowship, along with a four hour exam. Some specialties include plastic, microvascular, and reconstructive surgery (to name a few). Certain certificates expire after ten years and the surgeon must then complete recertification requirements in order to renew. Based on this information alone, it is apparent that becoming board-certified requires an exceptional amount of commitment, dedication, education, and experience on behalf of the surgeon.
What do they do?
The main difference between a plastic or cosmetic surgeon and a board-certified plastic surgeon is that the board-certified surgeon has gone a step above obtaining a medical license and has actually met a minimum competency requirement. The same cannot be said for a non-board-certified surgeon and this could be due to several reasons including the surgeon may not have passed the competency requirement or they may have not been approved for membership. You’ve probably heard of surgeons that hold hospital affiliations. This means that the surgeon is allowed to perform surgical procedures at a specific hospital. These hospitals have certain criteria that the surgeon must fit in order to be able to treat patients there, and one of those criteria is that the surgeon must be board certified. A hospital has a lot invested in their surgeons and patient care and this is yet another reason why it is wise to select a board-certified plastic surgeon to perform your procedure.
How do I determine if my surgeon is board certified?
One of the best ways to learn if a surgeon is board certified is to ask them during your initial consultation. You can also see if this information is posted on their website beforehand, but meeting with the surgeon and getting a feel for them face-to-face will allow you to get a better read on whether or not this is the right surgeon for you. You should also use your consultation as a time to find out more about the surgeon’s experience in the specific procedure you want to have done.
We’ve provided a few important questions to ask during your consultation. Understanding if the doctor is qualified is crucial during your diligence, and it also helps to dive in a little deeper and get an understanding of how they operate their practice.
Are you board certified?
How many times have you performed this procedure?
How many years of training do you have in this specific procedure?
How long have you been practicing?
Are you in good standing with your boards?
Do you have patient photos I can look at?
Where can I read some of your patient reviews?
Why is a board-certified plastic surgeon so important?
The bottom line is that you want to select a surgeon who has gone above and beyond with their training and expertise. A board-certified surgeon has the experience and credentials necessary to provide you with optimal care before, during, and immediately following your procedure. Why select a surgeon that has met the bare minimum standards when you can find one that has taken the time and effort to stand out amongst the crowd?
How can I find out more?
If you’re looking for a highly-skilled plastic surgeon in the Long Island area then please give Romanelli Cosmetic Surgery a call. Our surgeons are board certified and come highly recommended. They have the skills and expertise necessary to provide you with a positive surgical experience and amazing post-operative results.
We look forward to meeting you and having you see for yourself why so many patients throughout Long Island choose Romanelli Cosmetic Surgery for their surgical needs.