The Importance of Board Certification

Many physicians offering cosmetic surgery state they are "board-certified," but what does that really mean? It's critical that you ask about the specific board and field in which they are certified. These days, there's unfortunately no requirement that cosmetic surgery be performed by a physician who's actually trained in the discipline. In fact, cosmetic procedures are not just offered by board-certified plastic surgeons, but by physicians of every stripe, including dermatologists, gynecologists, ophthalmologists, oral surgeons, and physicians initially trained in other fields.

If you're not careful, you could find yourself being operated on by someone who has had no formal training in plastic surgery, and has met no requirement to prove their knowledge and skill in exams and peer reviews. Worse yet, many of these physicians offering plastic surgery are ill-prepared to deal with the complications that tend to be more numerous and severe when under-qualified surgeons are performing these sophisticated procedures.

If you're already convinced of the importance of board certification in plastic surgery, and take extra comfort in knowing that Dr. Robert Najera has also maintained his general surgery certification, call (469) 606-3273 today to schedule your consultation.

Ask Which Board

As you research surgeons, many will say they're "board certified," but by which board? Make sure that the certification they are talking about is by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). This will tell you that your surgeon has:

  • Attained a four-year college degree
  • Attained a degree from an accredited medical school
  • Successfully completed a minimum of three years of surgical internship and residency, and completed an accredited residency specifically in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Practiced plastic surgery for at least two years
  • Passed extensive oral and written exams and peer reviews, involving specific cases chosen by and presented to this group during the board certification process

"Double" Board Certification

In addition to being certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery Dr. Najera has earned certification from the American Board of Surgery. What does this mean? Many plastic surgeons (both recently graduated and more established) went through only three years of general surgery as a prerequisite for plastic surgery training, during which they were usually following a more senior resident surgeon's orders, and weren't given the chance to truly run a service or manage patients as a Chief Resident, which is a prime opportunity to mature and "put it all together." Conversely, most physicians who finish a general surgery residency have more or less "seen it all," including severe trauma and the management of very ill patients in the Intensive Care Unit, and consequently are able to manage almost any surgical or critical care problem.

While Dr. Najera may not be taking out thyroid glands, gall bladders or colon cancers anymore, this experience was nonetheless invaluable in his maturation and development as a surgeon.

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