Today a colleague sent me the webpage of a pseudo-board-certified physician claiming he was “Board-Certified in Laser Surgery.” Sadly this kind of fraudulent misrepresentation occurs far too often when physicians start to practice outside their expertise. Patients assume that all board-certification means something, but all boards are not created equal.
The only medical board certification that matters is the American Board of Medical Specialties. The ABMS is made up of its members boards such as a the American Board of Dermatology (my certifying body), the American Board of Internal Medicine, the American Board of Family Practice and so on. There is no ABMS member board for ‘laser surgery’ or ‘cosmetic surgery.’
In fact, the only physicians qualified by their residency training to perform aesthetic procedures (the specific procedures varies by specialty and training program) are members of the following boards:
American Board of Dermatology
American Board of Ophthalmology
American Board of Plastic Surgery
American Board of Otolaryngology
These are the ‘core aesthetic specialties.’ While dermatologists might have the most laser training we shouldn’t be doing breast augmentation. So, even if you chose a core-aesthetic physician be sure to make sure he or she is operating within his or her training and expertise.
Incidently, I am considering founding the Board of Chicago Bears Fans. If you would like to be A Board Certified Bears Fan please contact me – but don’t forget to remit your $1000 Board Certification Fee!
-Neil A. Shah, MD, FAAD