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American Board of Plastic Surgery

An important question I am frequently asked is “what is the difference between the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery”. There are twenty four medical specialty member boards (such as cosmetic surgery boards and American plastic surgery boards) recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the preeminent entity overseeing the certification of physician specialists in the United States. The American Board of Plastic Surgery is one of the twenty four recognized members of the American Board of Medical Specialties. The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, which came into existence in 1990, is NOT recognized by and is NOT a member of the ABMS. The American Board of Plastic surgery was organized in 1937 and became recognized as a member board by the American Board of Medical Specialties in 1941. Becoming a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery is a lengthy and rigorous process: After graduating from an accredited medical school, one must complete a minimum of 5 years of surgical residency training, with at least 2 years devoted completely to Plastic Surgery. These residency training programs must be recognized by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Many Diplomats have undergone extensive training well beyond the minimum. In addition, rigorous and comprehensive written and oral examinations must be passed. This information can be verified and more elaborated on at the American Board of Medical Specialties and the American Board of Plastic Surgeons.

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