GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT DR. EDWARDS AND HIS PRACTICE
1. Are you board-certified? How do I verify this?
I am board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery. These require re-certification every 10 years and I have re-certified in each of these boards in my effort to ensure currency. I will provide information below to show how you can verify if a physician is board-certified in the specialty you are seeing them for. Your plastic surgeon should be board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (www.abplsurg.org) (215-587-9322). This board has strict criteria in order to become board certified. It is one of the 24 member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties, (www.ABMS.org). They provide on-line verification of board certification (www.ABMS.org) or (866) ASK-ABMS. A physician can be certified by other boards representing their area of training, but they may not have the proper training to do cosmetic surgical procedures. A series of weekend courses and seminars cannot begin to replace 2 or 3 years of a plastic surgery residency. To be board certified in plastic surgery a doctor must graduate from an accredited medical school, do residency training in an accredited program, and complete an approved residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery. They also must practice a minimum of two years after graduation, and pass both written and oral examinations in plastic surgery. Board certification takes approximately about 8 years after graduation from medical school.
There is a difference between state medical license and board certified in plastic surgery. Any doctor can get apply for a state medical license, but they do not necessarily have the training in plastic surgery.
2. What is the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), and who is a member?
This society is the only society which includes only board certified and credentialed plastic surgeons from around the world. The society comprises more than 95% of all plastic surgeons. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons represents 97% of all physicians certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. You can view this site, or call the ASPS to determine the status of an individual plastic surgeon at www.plasticsurgery.org or by calling 800-635-0635.
3. What is the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), and who can be a member?
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) www.surgery.org (1-888-272-7711) is the society of board-certified plastic surgeons who chose to focus their practice on aesthetic or cosmetic surgery. ASAPS member surgeons are fully trained in all facets of reconstructive procedures as well.
4. Why is it important that the board a doctor is certified by is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties?
The American Board of Medical Specialties, (ABMS), (http://www.abms.org) is a not-for-profit organization that assists 24 approved medical specialty boards in the development and use of standards in the ongoing evaluation and certification of physicians. ABMS, recognized as the “gold standard” in physician certification, believes higher standards for physicians means better care for patients. You can feel confident that your board-certified plastic surgeon has had the proper training to safely care for you in a state of the art manner. Board-certified plastic surgeons should operate only in accredited surgical centers staffed by well-trained and credentialed providers.
5. What are the other boards or societies I see in other doctor’s advertisements such as The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, The American Society of Laser Medicine, The Lipoplasty Society, etc.?
There are boards or societies that can be confusing to the patient such as the Board of Cosmetic Surgery. This board is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties and the physicians listing this certification are typically not plastic surgeons and can be doctors trained in virtually any field such as Pediatrics, Family Practice, ENT, OB/GYN, etc. These doctors will typically not be board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
6. What is the difference between a Cosmetic Surgeon and a Plastic Surgeon?
A Plastic Surgeon is both a reconstructive and a cosmetic surgeon who has completed training in an accredited plastic surgery residency. The techniques employed in aesthetic surgery are derived from those used in reconstructive surgery. In fact, aesthetic surgery is an extension of reconstructive surgery. It requires competent surgical skill, a sense of harmony of the body parts and good aesthetic judgment on the part of the surgeon. It is common for many plastic surgeons to devote their time to aesthetic/cosmetic surgery procedures. Typical cosmetic surgery procedures include Rhinoplasty (cosmetic surgery on the nose), Blepharoplasty (cosmetic surge