Rift among cosmetic, plastic surgeons over ‘Board Certified’ label

There has been a rift among plastic surgeons at the recent California licensing board meeting. The rift is over the point whether California members of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) can advertise themselves as “board certified,” which isn’t allowed currently by the Medical Board of California.

Physicians can mention that they specialize in cosmetic procedures such as breast augmentations, hair transplants, and tummy tucks- typically elective and paid for in cash. But they cannot use the important words “board certified” in the specialty.

This privilege is reserved for those physicians who are certified by boards that have proven to state regulators that their diplomats are sufficiently “trained and tested”. This is “equivalent” to an American Board of Medical Specialities board or is certified by an association with a postgraduate training program approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

The medical board had twice before rejected the cosmetic surgeons' petition, but now the ABCS says it has revised its programs and deserves its own exception.

Saying they're board certified is critically important, they say, and without that their ability to communicate their proficiencies directly to prospective patients is crippled.