Minimally invasive techniques, surgical technology advancements, and cheaper costs have made plastic surgery increasingly accessible. It’s no longer only for the rich and famous. More and more middle class Americans are having plastic surgery and are doing so without breaking their bank account. Unfortunately, the increase in affordable plastic surgery has been met with the creation of a plastic surgery black market. Drugs are being illegally sold and non-qualified individuals are examining and treating patients. Additionally, there is a growing trend for many Americans to cross the Mexican border to have plastic surgery at a cheaper price. This article seeks to protect patients from the plastic surgery black market by pointing out and explaining exactly what a board certified plastic surgeon is. If someone is considering plastic surgery, they should only consult a board-certified plastic surgeon.

The American Board of Plastic Surgery

The mission of The American Board of Plastic Surgery is to promote safe, ethical, efficacious plastic surgery to the public by maintaining high standard for the education, examination, certification and maintenance of certification of plastic surgeons as specialists and sub-specialists.” It is an independent, nonprofit organization that is one of the twenty-four medical specialty boards that make up the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Put simply, it’s a recognized governing body that ensures plastic surgeons have the education and skills to appropriately treat patients.

Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Education

The road to become a plastic surgeon is a long and tough one. It usually begins with obtaining an undergraduate degree. Once a degree is obtained and/or prerequisites are met, the future surgeon is required to attend four years of medical school. After being awarded a degree in medicine, he or she begins residency training in general surgery. This usually lasts for five years and is followed by a one to three-year fellowship in plastic surgery.

Licensing Requirements

All physicians and surgeons are required to be licensed in order to practice medicine. This is done through the passing of the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE). The USMLE is a rigorous test that challenges physicians to demonstrate a high level of competence in their understanding of diseases and treatment modalities. Once plastic surgeons pass this exam, they are administered an additional exam by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. When this exam is passed, a surgeon is deemed to be “board-certified”. The licensing and board certification requirements continue throughout the surgeon’s career to ensure he or she is always competent.

Hopefully this article has shed some light into the legitimacy behind the meaning of the term “board-certified”. Our country produces the finest physicians and surgeons in the world for a reason. The practice of medicine is not something to be taken lightly. It should only be done by intelligent, experienced, and skilled individuals. The plastic surgery black market is not a safe one. Saving money should never be a reason to put a life at risk. Those interested in plastic surgery are always instructed to consult a physician who is board-certified.

Meet Our Doctors

Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel

Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel

With special expertise in all aspects of facial plastic surgery, and a particular skill for revision surgery, it’s clear why Dr. Spiegel is one of the most celebrated facial plastic surgeons in the world. If you are seeking the best possible results, or have a uniquely challenging problem, you’ve found the right doctor.

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Dr. Onir L. Spiegel

Dr. Onir L. Spiegel

Dr. Onir (pronounced “oh-near”) has years of experience in facial aesthetics and treats some of the most recognizable and famous faces. Dr. Onir started her career in oral health, earning doctorate degrees from both New York University and Boston University. She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her cutting-edge medical research as well as her technical skills in dentistry.

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Dr. Jacob Tower

Dr. Jacob Tower

A board-certified specialist in facial plastic surgery, Dr. Jacob Tower brings a thoughtful approach and an artistic eye to New England’s premier plastic surgery practice, The Spiegel Center in Newton, Massachusetts. In addition to being an in-demand surgeon, Dr. Tower is an assistant professor at the Boston University School of Medicine, a sought-after lecturer, and an expert in facial plastic surgery.

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