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wasperformed FacialSurgery.com
Steven M. Denenberg, M.D.
Steven M. Denenberg, M.D.


Diplomas, Degrees, and Board Certification: Page 5

Those 800 numbers

At the end of any magazine article on plastic surgery, there will be a side bar with advice on how to find a good plastic surgeon.  The side bar will say, "Call 1-800-Find-a-Surgeon to make sure your doctor is board certified, or to find a board certified doctor in your area."  You now know that almost everything you read about board certification is generated by one group of doctors trying to wrest the plastic surgery business away from a competing groups of doctors.  So you also now know that the 800 number in the side bar will connect you with the main office of the board that certified the plastic surgeon who provided the background material for that magazine article.  When you call and ask whether your doctor is "board certified," you’ll be told "no" by the helpful voice on the line if your doctor is certified by one of the other plastic surgery boards.  If you ask for a list of all the "board certified plastic surgeons" in your area, you’ll only be given names of doctors certified by the one board mentioned in the side bar.

If the side bar has more than one 800 number, which one are you going to call?  To save you from having to read all those side bars, at the end of this chapter I'll give you the phone numbers and Web site addresses of all the boards we've mentioned, along with some advice on how to use the information.

In summary

You do want your doctor to be board certified.  Confirming his certification provides you with good research about your doctor's basic medical training.

Don't be dazzled by a wall full of diplomas from the various plastic surgery professional societies.  They don't give you crucial information about the surgeon's concern for you and his competence in the operating room.

Other points to remember:

  • When an advertisement or article stresses the importance of finding a plastic surgeon certified by one particular board, ignore it.

  • If your plastic surgeon disparages another doctor because that doctor is certified by a different board, lace up your running shoes.

  • When you ask to see some of your plastic surgeon's before and after photographs, and he leans back in his chair, points with his thumb to his board certification diploma, and says, "This is all the evidence of my skill that you need," get out of there as fast as you can.

  • Be wary of a doctor whose advertising hypes board certification in a way that you now know to be unrealistic.

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