Does Certification Matter?

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Hi, Dr. David Yonick here-  

There are many different “boards” that are available to say a provider is “certified.” The most recent example is the state of California banning the American Board of Cosmetic Surgeon from stating they are “board certified.” This is one of clearest stances taken by a state medical board proving that certification does matter. It is a line that is voiced often by various medical specialties and it is, in fact, true—certification DOES matter.

But what does it really mean to be certified? In the case of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS), let’s take a closer look. There has been a lot of backlash from the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) regarding this subject. If you do a little digging into their website, and the board’s offerings, it becomes clearer what is truly going on. They offer opportunities to spend a weekend course learning cosmetic treatments like Botox or fillers, which becomes a common pathway for ER, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, etc to enter into the world of cosmetics.  

As a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon (American Board of Plastic Surgery) my requirements were much more than a weekend course worth of training. In plastic surgery, there are currently two pathways to obtain “eligibility” for the board examination process. As a medical student one can match directly into a 6 year plastic surgery training program. Or, as a medical student, one can complete a separate training program in general surgery (5 yrs), ENT (5yrs), or Urology (6yrs) to become eligible to apply to a 3 year plastic surgery training program.


This means I had to complete 5 years of general surgery (encompassing 2000 operations) followed by 3 years of plastic surgery (encompassing 3000 operations) in order to be able to sit for both American Board of Surgery (ABS) and American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) examination processes. Given this information, I strongly defend the statement that “certification matters” and the ability to advertise that one is “board certified” is also significant. As a practicing board certified plastic surgeon, I have achieved the highest level of standard for safe, ethical, and efficacious practice of plastic surgery.

When considering plastic surgery, it is very important to weigh your options and do your homework on the office and the doctor. This is especially the case when contemplating treatments like injectables, Botox, chemical peels, fillers, or laser treatments at boutiques or medical spas. At Yonick Plastic Surgery, we strongly recommend getting the name of the medical director, looking up their credentials, finding out whether they are board certified (and by which board), and asking if he/she performs or supervises any of the treatments. We want to ensure our patents have a safe, positive experience and achieve the results they are looking for— and at Yonick Plastic Surgery, we believe that starts with the right certification.


* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.