The Austin Society of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons is made up of members who are leaders in the field and in the Austin community. To become a member, a plastic surgeon must practice in the Austin area and be certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Patient safety is a top priority for all of our members, and we believe that credentials such as board certification are an important part of ensuring peace of mind for patients. Here, you can explore some of these credentials and other resources that help patients make proactive health care choices.
What is board certification?
Becoming certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) benefits both surgeons and their patients.
The ABPS is one of 24 member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties, an independent nonprofit organization that regulates professional standards for physicians in a variety of fields. A number of other organizations make claims about certifying plastic or cosmetic surgeons, but only ABPS-certified physicians can call themselves “board-certified plastic surgeons.”
Certification by The ABPS is a voluntary and challenging process designed to demonstrate how committed a surgeon is to his or her patients and their safety. All of our ASPRS members are board-certified plastic surgeons.
To become ABPS-certified, a physician must:
- Graduate from an accredited medical school
- Complete at least five years of additional training as a resident surgeon, including at least three years devoted to plastic surgery
- Pass extensive written and oral examinations by The ABPS
- Maintain certification every 10 years through a rigorous renewal process including peer review, continuing education and examination
What other credentials are important?
Aside from The American Board of Plastic Surgery, there are several other significant organizations that many of our members belong to. For patients, membership in each of the following groups is a good sign a surgeon is exceptionally dedicated to providing the top levels of care.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons®
Since 1931, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) has aimed to advance the plastic surgery field by encouraging high standards of training, practice, research and ethics among members. The group is the largest plastic surgery specialty organization in the world with thousands of members, including 94% of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the U.S. Surgeons benefit from membership through access to regular conferences, educational seminars, advocacy and practice support.
To become an ASPS member, a physician must be a board-certified plastic surgeon and complete some additional requirements, including passing exams, continuing education yearly, performing surgery in only certain accredited facilities and adhering to a strict code of ethics.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) is considered the world’s leading group of board-certified plastic surgeons who specialize in cosmetic procedures of the face, body and breasts. The group was formed in 1967, and its mission is to improve the field of aesthetic surgery through education, research and innovation among members, as well as to reach out directly to patients through its Smart Beauty Guide. Member surgeons attend annual conferences, share research in the society’s peer-reviewed journal and have access to a wide range of other resources.
Board-certified plastic surgeons can become ASAPS members through peer sponsorship. They must document practical experience in a large number and variety of cosmetic surgeries, participate in continuing education programs and adhere to stringent professional and ethical standards.
The Texas Society of Plastic Surgeons
Founded in 1953, the Texas Society of Plastic Surgeons (TSPS) is one of the largest plastic surgery groups in the United States. With more than 300 members, all board-certified plastic surgeons, the group promotes the sharing of information, research and innovation within the Texas region through regular meetings and publication. The group also functions as a patient advocate and tracks legislative changes on a state and national level that affect the practice of plastic and reconstructive surgery.
The inspiring nonprofit organization Austin Smiles is an important part of the ASPRS history. Although it is an independent group, many area plastic surgeons have been heavily involved in both Austin Smiles and ASPRS through the years, and we are proud to have a close association with this wonderful organization.
Austin Smiles began in 1977 as a nonprofit group dedicated to repairing cleft lips and palates for underprivileged children in Central Texas. Previously, such children would have to travel to medicals schools in Dallas, Galveston or San Antonio if they did not have medical insurance. What began as a solution for local children then grew over the decades to also include several annual trips to Latin America and the Caribbean, where rural families have little access to the care their children need. To date, Austin Smiles has helped improve the lives of more than 4,000 children.
Why should you “Do Your Homework”?
Part of our goal at ASPRS is to help you, our patient, make smart decisions about your medical care. We know that plastic surgery procedures — and particularly elective cosmetic treatments — can be confusing for patients because there are so many treatment options and those options are always changing in this dynamic industry.
That’s why we want you to take a proactive approach and “Do Your Homework.” We are big supporters of the ASPS Do Your Homework education campaign, designed to break down complicated issues in a simple way for patients. If you are considering a plastic surgery procedure, we encourage you to peruse the resources on the Do Your Homework page and watch the videos below.
We at ASPRS also would be happy to aid you in your research and to connect you with a surgeon in the Austin area who can help you find the answers you need.