Board Certification

When you’re considering having a plastic surgery procedure, you spend a lot of time researching the procedure itself (and maybe alternatives for it) as well as searching for qualified plastic surgeons in your area who can perform it. And chances are that if you spend more than five minutes on a practice’s website, you’ll come across the ubiquitous term: board-certified plastic surgeon.

Far from being a meaningless buzzword, board certification is a key factor when choosing a plastic surgeon for any plastic surgery procedure. Board certification represents experience, expertise, and sometimes specialization, which makes board-certified plastic surgeons trustworthy and reliable. Let’s find out more about what board certification is and how it can impact your surgical experience.

What Is Board Certification?

Becoming a board-certified plastic surgeon requires, at minimum, completing medical school and residency (which can take anywhere from one to six years to do), then passing an entrance exam administered by an agency recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.

Some physicians opt to do two residencies to gain experience or further specialize into one discipline of plastic surgery. In addition, surgeons can also apply for fellowships, which are one-year intensive training programs under world-leading experts in a specific practice area.

After gaining these many years of both education and hands-on experience, a plastic surgeon can then qualify for the American Board of Plastic Surgery’s (ABPS) examination, which involves both a written and oral test as well as continuing education requirements.


Although there are many board agencies relevant to plastic surgeons, the most common and perhaps important certification is the American Board of Plastic Surgery. That’s because the ABPS is the only board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties—a national organization that governs medical boards and allows hospitals to award benefits to member organizations.

Other organizations not accredited by the Board of Medical Specialties are often formed by doctors to allow them to have the appearance of expertise without the rigorous training and education requirements of legitimate board agencies.

In addition to having a top-notch education, Dr. Howland is certified to perform plastic surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons.

Why Does Board Certification Matter to Me?

In short, a plastic surgeon’s board certification means you can have peace of mind when researching plastic surgery providers. All ABPS-certified surgeons are capable of performing the procedure you’re looking for and understand how to achieve the best results.

A longer explanation for why board certification matters is that it isn’t just a one-time achievement, like a diploma. The ABPS requires certificate holders to complete ongoing education, which has requirements for professionalism, life-long learning, knowledge and skills, and improvement in medical practice. These requirements are based on a 10-year cycle and ensure board-certified plastic surgeons like Dr. Howland to keep up to date with emerging techniques and technology, as well as professional standards.

You benefit from Dr. Howland’s continuous certification requirements because Dr. Howland has the latest tools and procedures at his disposal to help you achieve naturally beautiful results that work for your recovery timeline.

Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon in Draper, Utah

For whatever surgical procedure you’re curious about, Howland Plastic Surgery is here to help. A specially trained and board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Howland helps people achieve their ideal shape with a complete set of services, from breast augmentation to tummy tuck.

To learn more about Dr. Howland and discover what procedures may be right for you, schedule a consultation with our team today. Call us or contact us online to start a conversation about your body contouring vision.

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