American Board of Plastic Surgery


What is the American Board of Plastic Surgery?

The American Board of Plastic Surgery (the Board) was founded in 1937 and has been for the past 75 years committed to its mission “to promote safe, ethical, efficacious plastic surgery to the public by maintaining high standards for the education, examination, certification, and maintenance of certification of plastic surgeons as specialists and sub specialists.” It is the ONLY BOARD recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialists that pertains to Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery. It should NOT be confused with other “self designated” boards that have similar names but are not recognized as equivalent in training.

What is the Criteria to becoming a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon?

The requirements for the American Board of Plastic Surgery are as follows:

  • Graduate from an accredited medical school
  • Have a active license to practice medicine in the state where residing
  • Complete a full residency training in an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited residency program in one of the following general surgery (including the Vascular Surgery Board of the American Board of Surgery), neurological surgery, orthopedic surgery, otolaryngology, thoracic surgery, or urology. Followed by 3 years in a accredited independent ACGME accredited Plastic Surgery residency program
  • Complete a minimum of six years of training in a integrated ACGME accredited Plastic Surgery residency program
  • Receive a endorsement from the Plastic Surgery Residency Program Director that the candidate successfully completed and met the criteria for graduating from the ACGME approved Plastic Surgery residency training program.
  • Continue in independent practice for a minimum of six months after completing a accredited Plastic Surgery tiring program.
  • During this above independent practice period it is required that a log of all operative reports (verified by a medical records custodian) be submitted to a panel of board-certified plastic surgeons (who represent the American Board of Plastic Surgery). Upon acceptance of the log contents (meeting both quality  quantity criteria) the candidate is then required to provide a case history, preoperative and postoperative photographs of selected cases which he/she has performed. Only now is the candidate able to apply to take the oral (certifying) exam.
  • Successfully pass BOTH a comprehensive and rigorous written (qualifying exam) and oral (certifying) examination.

More information about the American Board of Plastic Surgery can be found from the following contact information: The American Board of Plastic Surgery Seven Penn Center, Suite 4001635 Market Street Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103-2204. Telephone: 215-587-9322

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How to Find/Choose the Best/Top Plastic Surgeon? Part 1: What does it take to become a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Part 1: What does it take to become a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon I am often asked by friends, patients and those interested on how one becomes a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.  How to choose The Best/Top Plastic Surgeon and what questions to ask during a consultation. Thus, I have created a 3 part document addressing […]


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