So you’re a skilled facial cosmetic surgeon, but your credentials don’t show it. Here’s how to become board-certified.
Facial cosmetic surgery is a complex, ever-evolving specialty that many surgeons dedicate their careers to mastering. But facial cosmetic surgeons come from many backgrounds, like general surgery, ophthalmology, and even oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS), making it difficult for patients to decipher their surgeon’s specialty training and credentials.
If you are a facial cosmetic surgeon in practice, but not credentialed, the American Board of Facial Cosmetic Surgery (ABFCS) offers a clear path to becoming a board-certified facial cosmetic surgeon. More than just a credential, the certification earns you entry into an exclusive group of innovative surgeons who collaborate to advance the specialty.
Board certification with the American Board of Facial Cosmetic Surgery (ABFCS)
The ABFCS is an organization that certifies experienced, skilled surgeons who perform cosmetic procedures of the head and neck. Our mission is to identify and to credential safe facial cosmetic surgeons in order to help patients find highly-qualified, specialty-trained providers. Since there is no residency training focused exclusively on facial cosmetic surgery, we are a multi-disciplinary organization that comprises multiple surgical specialties, including:
- General surgery
- Plastic and reconstructive surgery
- Oral and maxillofacial surgery
The ABFCS is proud to be multidisciplinary, as we believe that no single specialty holds the key to facial cosmetics, and our diverse shared knowledge enriches the field. In order to offer board certification to surgeons whose training encompasses numerous pathways, we have created multiple pathways for demonstrating your expertise and earning certification.
The pathways to board certification
After primary training in one of the approved specialties (listed above), surgeons may qualify to take the ABFCS board certifying exam through a few different pathways:
- Experience. If you have completed 200+ qualifying facial cosmetic procedures as a primary surgeon in a 3-year period, you may be eligible to sit for the board exam based on proven experience. This pathway is intended for surgeons already practicing head and neck surgery within the scope of their specialty, such as otolaryngologists.
- Fellowship training. The 1-year American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS)-certified facial cosmetic surgery fellowship offers a direct pathway for surgeons to gain the hands-on experience required to petition the ABFCS for board certification.
- Fellowship equivalency. If you completed another fellowship that is equivalent in scope and rigor to the AACS-certified fellowship, your specialty training may qualify you to sit for the board exam.
If you have the appropriate training and/or experience already, you may be ready to submit your application for review in order to qualify for our next annual exam. You will submit comprehensive documentation to the ABFCS with evidence of surgical cases, licensure information, and more—see the full requirements and instructions on our “How to Apply” page.
Learn more about the ABFCS & begin your path to certification
As you consider the value that becoming a board-certified facial cosmetic surgeon may add to your practice, we invite you to contact us with questions or to continue exploring our website’s resources:
- Why join the ABFCS? »
- Certification Process »
- How to Apply »
- Board Certification & Fellowship FAQ »
- Top 5 Benefits of Being a Board-Certified Facial Cosmetic Surgeon »