Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Board Certification

With expanding reality shows like Dr. 90210, information regarding plastic surgery is becoming more and more accessible. On Dr. 90210, Dr Diamond and Dr. Li usually present themselves professionally to patients as board-certified plastic surgeons, whereas Dr. Rey usually likes to sweet talk the patient and call them " sweetheart". Although he's the star of the "show", there has been some controversy about his practice since he is not board-certified in plastic surgery (Source: New York Times). How important is board certification ? Well, board certification is an optional, voluntary process. Certification ensures that the doctor has been rigorously tested against his or her peers to assess his or her knowledge, skills, and experience in a specialty, and is deemed qualified to provide quality patient care in that specialty. There are two levels of certification through 24 specialty medical boards — doctors can be certified in 36 general medical specialties and in an additional 88 subspecialty fields. Most certifications must be renewed after six to 10 years, depending on the specialty (Source: American Medical Association). To find out if a plastic surgeon is board-certified is quiet simple. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) has a "Find-A-Surgeon" link that will lead you only to members of this prestigous society in a given geopgraphic area. Being board certified in plastic surgery is a criterion for entry in to this society. Also, searching the American Board of Plastic Surgery website (www.abplsurg.org) or the American Board of Medical Specialties site will yield this information. Dr. Jennifer Walden is a board certified member of ASAPS and if you would like to find out more information on procedures you can go to her website at: www.drjenniferwalden.com.

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