People Want Board-Certified Doctors — Too Bad 1 in 5 Pick a Fake Medical Board

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People Want Board-Certified Doctors — Too Bad 1 in 5 Pick a Fake Medical Board

The majority of men and women getting cosmetic surgery say they want a board-certified doctor but a new survey shows they don’t actually know what that means.

RealSelf surveyed nearly 600 Americans who’ve contacted at least one doctor about getting an elective cosmetic surgery; 93% said board certification was an important factor in their medical choices. Then we asked which medical board they thought was “most important” for a doctor to have.

The choices included the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery and two “core” boards, the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Dermatology (both are recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialities and thus are seen by most medical professionals as a go-to credential).

We also threw one surprise in the mix: the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery Specialists. A quick Google search will tell you there’s no such thing.

People Want Board-Certified Doctors — Too Bad 1 in 5 Pick a Fake Medical Board

But nearly one-fifth of respondents didn’t know that. They picked the fake board. Another sign people don’t know what board certification means: 22% said they didn’t know which board to choose.

Not that it’s an easy question to answer. RealSelf recognizes “core” aesthetic physicians, those with specialties and certifications recognized for cosmetic medicine and plastic surgery. For U.S. doctors, that credential can come from any number of sources. See the full list of which boards RealSelf recognizes.

Getting certification from a board means that person is recognized as having expertise in that area — they’ve gone through rigorous training to prove it — but it’s not legally required in the U.S. Anyone with a medical license can offer a cosmetic procedure. That’s why it’s important to know what specialties doctors are trained in and which credentials they have to prove it.

Find out more about board certification.

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Elisabeth Kramer is former managing editor of RealSelf Trends.

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