ABCS Denied Bid

Plastic surgery and all of organized medicine celebrated a major victory on April 28 when the California Court of Appeals denied a bid by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) to gain specialty equivalency to the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). I feel strongly, as do all real Plastic surgeons, that these “Bogus Boards” are an attempt to confuse the public and gain market share in the cosmetic surgery marketplace. The ABCS does not require a residency in plastic surgery. Residency is where, after medical school, a young physician trains under a consummate, board certified physician in a University setting to gain the knowledge and skill required to safely and successfully practice plastic surgery. This physician is then rigorously tested, with a review of a years worth of cases, that they have the skill, integrity and knowledge base to be a board certified plastic surgeon. Without a formal training program requirement, the ABCS recipient has either been self taught or attended a weekend seminar to learn these skill sets. My residency was 8 years. Five years in General Surgery and three in Plastic Surgery. Either I’m an idiot, or there is clearly more to be learned than a weekend course can satisfy. I welcome the time when all states will only allow claims of board certification by boards recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). The ABMS contains the boards that we have all heard of: American Board of Surgery, American Board of Pediatrics, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology among many others. I’m not against a career change by any physician. Just get the proper training first. Any physician in Kentucky can call themselves a plastic surgeon. They may also say board certified in their advertisements. Which board they are certified by may not be stated. If you have questions check the ABMS website.

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