Dr. Zenn adjusting a light

Anyone contemplating any cosmetic procedure should be sure to do their research first. One essential part of deciding which doctor to choose is whether or not they hold proper board certification. Read on to examine why choosing an ABPS board-certified plastic surgeon is important.

Cosmetic surgery has become popular and accepted in our society. Because of this, more and more surgeons certified in other specialties offer cosmetic surgery to the public. And it is entirely legal for them to do so. That's why it is imperative to understand the difference between a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in Raleigh and a physician who is board certified in another field (i.e., General Surgery, Dermatology, ENT, ophthalmology) or has a Certification by a non-recognized "cosmetic" board (such as the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.) Many physicians advertise double or even triple board certification - but the question is, what actual boards are they certified in, and will it make them a better plastic surgeon? It is true tht all plastic surgeons have extensive training in cosmetic surgery. It is not true, however, that all physicians who advertise themselves as “cosmetic surgeons” have extensive training in the field of plastic surgery.

What Does the Title Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Mean?

The certification of a board-certified plastic surgeon has behind it the highest level of training and skills necessary to perform plastic surgery in the United States. The American Board of Plastic Surgery bestows this designation upon a surgeon only after extensive training and testing. The ABPS Plastic Surgery Residency is 6-8 years following four years of medical school, not  including additional fellowships. The ACGME is the US government's accrediting body that approves surgical training programs in this country. The American Board of Plastic Surgery is the ONLY ACGME-approved board for plastic surgery.

But Aren't All Cosmetic Doctors the Same?

No, almost any doctor can legally perform cosmetic procedures, no matter how they obtained that training. Many doctors receive training in fields other than plastic surgery yet call themselves "cosmetic" doctors or surgeons. They can even claim "board certification," – but it's usually not in plastic surgery! There is no US certification for "Cosmetic Plastic Surgery." Buyer beware!

Get the Facts on Cosmetic Surgeons versus Board Certified Plastic Surgeons

There is a substantial difference between a plastic surgeon board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) and a physician who has been certified as a "cosmetic surgeon" by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS). An actual plastic surgeon has completed more rigorous and longer training, specifically in plastic surgery, than those certified by alternative boards.

It takes completing a minimum 6-year ACGME-approved residency training program in plastic surgery focused on board-certified plastic surgeons and passage of rigorous oral and written examinations to become certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. By comparison, an ABCS doctor does not do a plastic surgery residency at all; and only needs one year of extra "supervised training" to be "certified" by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. That supervised single year is highly variable and is not approved by the ACGME.

Finding a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in Raleigh, NC

Fortunately, patients have many choices of plastic surgeons who are Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery in Raleigh, NC. That should be the starting point for those who do the research and desire the safest and most successful outcomes. Then from the list of those surgeons, look for a surgeon with a lot of experience in the procedures you are interested in.

Dr. Zenn is an internationally renowned plastic surgeon with an unparalleled background. After completing his education and surgical training at Ivy League institutions, including Cornell and Harvard, he completed an additional fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He has over 25 years of experience performing and teaching plastic surgery at UNC Chapel Hill and Duke University Medical Center, where he was a Full Professor, Vice-Chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery, and Director of Resident Training for more than a decade (that's why he knows so much about this topic!) 

Additionally, he is honored to have been asked by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons to administer oral boards to qualified candidates annually.

Dr. Zenn currently practices plastic surgery in Raleigh, NC, and is one of the top plastic surgeons in the area. He is a distinguished member of many plastic surgery organizations, such as the American Society of Plastic Surgery and the American Association of Plastic Surgery. Also, the American Medical Association, American College of Surgeons, and the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. 

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