We’ve recently been trying to educate all our readers about the importance of board-certification. But one point about board-certification that we may not have been extremely clear on is that if you’re considering plastic surgery, make sure the doctors you consult and the doctor you ultimately choose are board-certified plastic surgeons.

The fact of the matter is that a doctor can be board-certified, but not necessarily be a board-certified plastic surgeon. A doctor who says he or she is board-certified may be board certified in internal medicine, for example, not plastic surgery. While this may make him or her a preferred candidate to treat a blood disorder … resolve kidney issues … or manage any of a variety of other difficult medical problems — it does not make him or her qualified to perform sensitive plastic surgery procedures. It is very important to make this distinction.

Unfortunately, there are doctors out there who are performing plastic surgery and aesthetic procedures and to underhandedly win the confidence of patients they advertise themselves as “board-certified.” Which they may in fact be … it’s just that they are not board-certified in plastic surgery. Shamefully, they’re telling half truths to fool unsuspecting patients.

The bottom line is — do your homework, research your doctors, and never, ever consider a physician who is not a board-certified plastic surgeon to perform any kind of plastic surgery on you. To make sure — visit the official web site of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. They have a link that allows you to search by location and find a board-certified plastic surgeon that’s convenient to you … and to verify if a physician is indeed the board-certified plastic surgeon that he or she claims to be.

Visit http://www1.plasticsurgery.org/find_a_surgeon/