The Importance of Board Certification

When you consult a professional—an attorney, for example—it's natural to assume they have all the training needed to inspire your confidence in them. After all, attorneys must pass the bar exam for their state before they can practice, right?

Physicians must obtain their medical license to practice medicine in Alaska and Washington, it's true, but there's still no requirement that a "plastic surgeon" or "cosmetic surgeon" have formal training in the discipline. In fact, it's not unusual for dermatologists, gynecologists and other physicians to offer cosmetic surgery. Since there are no standard requirements to meet before a physician in Seattle offers plastic surgery, how can you ensure you're working with someone who is a highly trained and experienced plastic surgeon?

Look for ABPS Certification

The only way for Alaska or Seattle residents to know their plastic surgeon is truly qualified to perform plastic surgery of the body, breast and face is to make sure they are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). This is the certification Dr. Wandra Miles holds.

The ABPS is one of only 24 member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties. The two organizations have been working together for over 60 years to maintain a high level of professional standards plastic surgeons must meet to qualify for ABPS certification. These standards include:

  • A four year college degree
  • Graduation from an accredited medical school
  • At least five years in an accredited surgical training program, with at least two of those years focused on plastic surgery
  • Two years or more in private practice devoted to plastic surgery
  • Passing scores on written and oral examinations
  • Moral and ethical standing in the community acceptable to the ABPS

You should know that there are many other professional groups plastic surgeons may belong to. Most are worthy organizations devoted to enabling plastic surgeons to continue their education and share knowledge with their peers. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), to which Dr. Miles belongs, is the gold standard. In fact, the ASPS requires its members to be ABPS certified.

Other organizations may also provide worthwhile services for their members, but be advised that membership in a professional group is no substitute for ABPS certification. In fact, because ABPS certification is still voluntary, when you find a surgeon who is ABPS certified, you'll know that they have chosen to hold themselves to the highest standard in the profession.

If you're interested in plastic surgery and live in Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma or Olympia, come in and meet Dr. Miles. She also works with women and men from southern Alaska during her frequent trips north. You'll find her to be not only highly qualified, but understanding and compassionate as well. She will be happy to learn about your goals and give you the benefit of her training and experience. When you're ready, request an appointment online or call at 206-215-6221.