Last week USA Today published two investigations into plastic surgery. The stories discuss the importance of having a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon perform your surgery. The American Board of Medical Specialties sets the standards for the education, lifelong training and testing of doctors. ABMS member boards include the American Board of Plastic Surgery but none of the other cosmetic surgery boards, including the similar sounding American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. To be board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery you must have done a residency in plastic surgery unlike the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.  To read the entire story click here.
Tips for picking a Plastic Surgeon:
What’s he or she board certified in?   Be sure they are Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
How many times overall and recently has the doctor performed the surgery you are considering?  Do they have privileges at a hospital to perform this surgery?  You want your doctor to be performing a good number of the surgery you are considering.  Even if your surgery is planned to be done in the office your doctor should have privileges at a hospital to do the same surgery.  Hospitals have credentialing committees where panels of doctors screen other physicians to make sure they are qualified to do the surgery.
Ask your friends and doctors (such as your internal medicine doctor, your ob gyn) for referrals to a plastic surgeon.  Word of mouth from your friends who have had plastic surgery is an excellent way to find out their experience with a plastic surgeon.  Your doctors can give you referrals to plastic surgeons that they are familiar with their work.