Credentials and Board Certifications
Dr. Todd A. Pollock is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a member in good standing of the American Society of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Pollock has hospital privileges at several Dallas and Allen area hospitals and also performs many procedures in the accredited surgical suite located in our North Dallas office.
At North Dallas Plastic Surgery, we feel that a physician’s credentials and hospital privileges must be part of your decision when selecting a plastic surgeon. Other factors that one should consider are the surgeon’s reputation, referrals by physicians or friends and, most importantly, one’s comfort level and confidence in the surgeon. One can only determine this after a consultation with the physician personally. It is our firm belief that any surgeon performing office surgery should also have hospital privileges to perform that procedure. Additionally, one should always consider a second opinion.
Board Certification Explained
The American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS) is a membership organization consisting 97% of all Surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and only ABPS surgeons. The ASPS provides members with postgraduate medical education, public education, and promotes patient safety and member ethics.
The one medical board-certifying agency that you can rely upon is the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and its sub-boards. This is the board that oversees the certification of physicians in all specialties.
“The intent of the certification of physicians is to provide assurance to the public that a physician specialist certified by a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) has successfully completed an approved educational program and an evaluation process which includes an examination designed to assess the knowledge, skills, and experience required to provide quality patient care in that specialty.” Quoted from the ABMS Assembly
The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) is the specialty board accredited by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) that certifies plastic surgeons. The ABPS is the only one of the 24 boards approved by the ABMS that certifies surgeons in plastic surgery of the face and all areas of the body.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) requires ABPS certification for membership. ASPS oversees continuing medical education, practice standards and ethics. Self-designated specialty organizations are membership organizations, not medical boards.
Medical specialty certification must be differentiated from a physician’s ability to designate a special area of interest. This practice, used by the American Medical Association and many local medical societies, is known as a “self-designated specialty.”
How do you find a board-certified doctor?
You can check on specific physicians through the American Board of Medical Specialties Website at www.certificationmatters.org. Verbal verification is available through the ABMS toll-free telephone service by calling (866) ASK-ABMS (275-2267). Verification is also available in The Official ABMS Directory of Board Certified Medical Specialists, published annually. The directory can be found in many medical and public libraries. Written verification is available by contacting the individual specialty board in the physician’s field of practice.
Major hospitals are very diligent in credentialing surgeons for privileges to perform specific procedures. Furthermore, in a hospital setting, surgeons are subject to peer review (case reviews), which enforces acceptable standards. Any hospital medical staff office can provide this information.
The Importance of Medical Credentials
One should expect that a physician has the proper training, credentials and experience to provide the service you are seeking. One would expect a board-certified plastic surgeon to have gone through a broad and rigorous training program, to have adequate surgical experience, and to have passed both written and oral objective testing.
Further, one would expect that the surgeon has met certain ethical standards as required by the particular specialty. (The American Society of Plastic Surgeons enforces one of the most rigorous ethical codes in the medical profession.)
Important Considerations for Patients
- Any physician may call himself/herself a plastic surgeon or cosmetic surgeon with training.
- In most states, including Texas, any physician may perform any procedure in his/her office without peer scrutiny. There are no training requirements. And there is no requirement that the physician be a trained surgeon to offer and perform a surgical procedure in his/her own office.
- A physician may claim to be board-certified simply by joining a sound-a-like organization. In fact, this has made the public understanding of board certification so difficult, that it has become necessary to use the American Society of Plastic Surgery name and logo to distinguish those surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery from all the rest!