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Board Certified

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Board Certified

When choosing a surgeon to perform an operation, patients often wonder why it is important to choose a board-certified surgeon. Of those who know the importance, often people become confused about what exactly they should be looking for.

Board certification is a credentialing process where physicians voluntarily complete a list of requirements in order to be certified by a particular specialty board. The process to become board certified is different in every specialty. In order to become board certified in plastic surgery, it requires that you have completed an accredited training program in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Following graduation, there is a two-step examination process that requires both a written and oral examination that are taken in subsequent years. Board eligible surgeons are those who have completed the accredited training program and are somewhere along the path to becoming board certified.

The reason that gets confusing is that some surgeons advertise that they are board-certified cosmetic surgeons or just that they are board-certified and do not indicate in which specialty. There is no accredited training program in ‘cosmetic surgery.’ Often the physicians that indicate this board is certified in a field other than plastic and reconstructive surgery. Before a consultation for any cosmetic procedure, patients should always inquire as to whether the surgeon is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) requires that a candidate complete prerequisite training followed by requisite training at an accredited plastic surgery training program. The candidates next must pass a comprehensive written exam which is usually taken within the first year or two after training. Finally, candidates must pass an oral examination that strenuously evaluates a candidate’s base of knowledge, judgment and ethical standards. Only after completing each of these steps are candidates considered board certified. The official term is a Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery. The ABPS requires re-certification every ten years.

When it comes to your health and your safety, what could be more important than finding a plastic surgeon who has been appropriately trained and who has proven their knowledge and ethical standards through a demanding and thorough examination process?

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*Individual Results May Vary


The first step is to schedule an in-person consultation with Dr. Lawton or one of our trusted providers at Tenley K Lawton M.D. in Neport Beach, CA. Simply fill out the form on this page and we will reach out to you promptly to schedule your appointment.


*Individual Results May Vary


Dr. Lawton strives to provide the best experience for everyone who chooses her practice for their aesthetic needs. Read why our patients love their results & experience with Dr. Lawton and her team of expert providers.

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