Monday, February 18, 2008

2008 Plastic Surgery Board Certification data

The American Board of Plastic Surgery has released it's 2008 data on it's most recent board-certification testing applicants. Board certification takes passing both a written exam followed by an oral examination in the next 1-2 years.

The failure rate for each exam traditionally hovers around 20% (19.6% for the written and 21.4% for the orals in 2007), which is highest among all the surgical specialties certification processes, and continues to reaffirm the general opinion that the ABPS exam is the most difficult to pass. Another thing to keep in mind is that due to the intense competition for training spots, even those 20% who failed either exam were likely among the top-performing students in their medical school classes (for those who were in "integrated" programs where you start out of medical school) or in their prerequisite surgical residencies.

You can check your doctor's board-certification status for free at the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)site (click here). The ABMS is the American gold-standard for physician accredidation and is what people are referring to when they talk about "board certification". Please note that organizations like the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, and the American board of Cosmetic Gynecology(?)are not (and likely will never) be recognized by the ABMS.

The celebrity blog, Knifestyles of the Rich and Famous (LOVE that name!) had a post in December, "Doing Due Dilligence", (click here to read), which gives a little overview for the laypeople on this topic that's worth reading.



gammy said...


Big fan of the blog. Where did you find that info? I checked the ABPL site and nothing came up...

-Alex Panagiotopoulos
A. Cohen Public Relations

Dr. Rob Oliver said...


The data is published in the ABPS newsletter that I get for being a diplomate. I don't know if it's available on the web site without being able to log on. It's not really "secret" data so if I can figure a way to cut & paste the associated graphics I will

gammy said...

There it is.

Gorgeous Black Women said...

Hi Dr. Oliver,

I have another question for you. Actually, it's asking for your opinion on this:

I just saw this on YouTube. You answered my question about SmartLipo and Liposelection. This patient seems to have had just local anesthesia without the twilight sedation. She's awake during her procedure. This is surprising. Didn't know that was an option. Thoughts on this? Good? Bad? Depends? I like the idea of not being under general anesthesia and avoiding twilight sedation would be even better. What are the drawbacks?

Also, she's on her cell phone during part of the procedure.

Anonymous said...

the ophthalmolgy board examination (a surgical subspecialty) has a 30% failure rate.

Tom Fiala said...


Perhaps a good topic for discussion would be the recent court decision in California, which overturned the "equivalency" status of the ABCS compared to the "gold standard" ABPS certification.

Keep up the good work!
Tom Fiala, MD

ANNE said...

Well, we love you too! How nice to meet you.