How do I prepare for the board qualifying exam?

The exam covers the full scope of cosmetic surgery of the head, face, and neck, with topics related to safely, ethically, and effectively administering facial cosmetic procedures. The materials provided on the Annual Examination Preparation page serve as study guides.

When and where is the exam given?

The exam is given in two parts, written and oral. Both take place in the fall of each year. The written exam is administered at Prometric Testing Centers, while the oral exam is given in person or virtually via video conference.

Where can I learn more about the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS)-certified facial cosmetic surgery fellowship?

An overview of the fellowship with fellowship directors’ contact information is available on our fellowship page. More information and the fellowship application are available on the AACS website.

Can I qualify for the exam without completing the AACS-certified fellowship?

Yes, you may qualify for the exam based on either fellowship equivalency or experience. If you completed a different fellowship in aesthetic, oculoplastic, facial plastic, or cosmetic dermatologic surgery, you may petition the board for equivalency. This fellowship, like the AACS fellowship, must have been completed within 3 years of the date of application, and the board must deem it equivalent in breadth, length, and scope. We also accept applications based on extensive facial cosmetic experience. Read more about exam qualifications here.

I am a single-degree oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Can I qualify for board certification through the American Board of Facial Cosmetic Surgery?

Yes, both single- and dual-degree oral and maxillofacial surgeons may qualify to sit for the ABFCS board certifying exam after meeting the other standard requirements. Read about the certification process here and learn about how to apply here.

Can I take a year off between fellowship training and applying for board certification?

Yes. If you completed an AACS-certified facial fellowship within 3 years of the application date, then you may apply for board certification.

I completed the AACS fellowship in general cosmetic surgery, rather than facial cosmetic surgery. Can I apply to take the board exam for facial cosmetic surgery?

If you completed an AACS-certified fellowship in general cosmetic surgery that includes the minimum of 125 major facial surgical cases of sufficient diversity, breadth, and complexity (see ABFCS Surgical Log Requirements for a list of qualifying procedures), then that fellowship may fulfill the requirement. Full certification requirements are listed in ABFCS Credentialing Requirements.

Can I sit for the exam during my AACS fellowship?

Fellows in a qualified AACS cosmetic surgery fellowship who are board-certified by an approved primary board may apply and sit for the oral and written components of the ABFCS examination during fellowship training. Examination results (whether pass or fail) will not be provided until you have successfully completed the fellowship.

I am in a qualified AACS fellowship, and am board eligible for my primary board certification. Can I sit for the exam before I am board-certified?

You may be permitted to sit for the exam, but you will not receive your examination results, whether pass or fail, until primary board certification is completed and received.

What is required to maintain certification? Does it expire?

The candidate successfully completing the board examination will be awarded a certificate that is valid for ten years. ABFCS diplomates must pay annual membership fees, complete 75 hours of continuing medical education, and be re-examined every ten years to maintain certification.

What happens if I allow my board certification to lapse?

After you have become a diplomate of the ABFCS, you may be re-examined in order to renew board certification at any time, even if your certification has lapsed.

Can international facial cosmetic surgeons become board-certified?

If you are a facial cosmetic surgeon with training from a country outside of the United States, it is possible to qualify for board certification from the American Board of Facial Cosmetic Surgery (ABFCS) with proven experience and credentials. In fact, many board certified facial cosmetic surgeons from countries including India and Greece are deeply involved in our mission today. Read about facial cosmetic surgery board certification outside the United States here.

Who do I contact with questions about maintaining my board certification?

Contact the ABFCS home office by phone at (312) 340-4788, email info@ambrdfcs.org, or fill out the online contact form to receive a call back.