Why Board Certification in Plastic Surgery Matters

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Board certification for plastic surgeryChoosing a plastic surgeon  is an important decision. You should consider the surgeon’s experience, surgical technique, and reputation with patients. Above all, seek a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Certification from the ABPS means a plastic surgeon has met rigorous criteria established by the board with regard to education, surgical training, and safety. There are physicians who may call themselves “plastic surgeons” or “cosmetic surgeons” but if they are not certified by the ABPS they may lack the training and skills needed to provide pleasing and safe results.

Education and Training

To be certified by the ABPS, plastic surgeons must possess an undergraduate degree and medical degree (MD).

Plastic surgeons complete six years of residency training after medical school. This training covers all plastic surgical procedures for the face and body, as well as how to prevent and handle complications and medical emergencies.


After completing residency, plastic surgeons must pass a rigorous written and oral exam to demonstrate their knowledge on plastic surgery procedures and safety protocols. In addition, board certified plastic surgeons are required to continue life-long learning, staying up to date on the latest practices and advances in plastic surgery.

Ethical Code

ABPS-certified plastic surgeons must also adhere to a strict ethics code set forth by the board. This includes being licensed by the state(s) in which they work and only operating in accredited, state-licensed or Medicare-certified facilities.

For the best results, you should work with a board certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in the procedure you seek and has a long track record of producing safe and beautiful results.  Recommendations from past patients can provide you with insight on how the surgeon listens, communicates, and cares for his or her patients..

To discuss your plastic surgery concerns and goals with a board certified plastic surgeon, schedule a consultation with Dr. Debra Johnson. As a top plastic surgeon in Sacramento, as well as nationally, Dr. Johnson has performed thousands of plastic surgery procedures on both men and women. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Johnson, contact our office by calling (916) 929-1833 or sending us an email today.