Why Board Certification Really Matters

Why Board Certification Matters

This article is part of a weekly Q & A blog series by Baltimore’s Top Doc, double board certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Baltimore aka Dr. Steven J. Rottman. 

Dear Dr. Rottman,

It seems like everyone is offering anti-aging treatments these days.  Is it OK to go to a family practice doctor for anti-aging injectables such as Restylane or Botox? I thought only Plastic Surgeons could legally do these types of procedures. Is it OK to have cosmetic procedures done by a family doctor or even a dentist?


Cautiously Confused

Dear Cautiously Confused,

The short answer is no. Experience, credentials and training are of the utmost importance when selecting a doctor or surgeon, especially a Plastic Surgeon. Do your homework and do not be misled by family physicians, moonlighting as cosmetic surgeons/doctors. Legally having a medical license allows anyone to call themselves a cosmetic surgeon/doctor even if their training was in a non-surgical specialty.

Cosmetic Surgery, is not a medical specialty recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) is the only board recognized by the ABMS to certify physicians in the full range of plastic and reconstructive procedures.

This misnomer is undoubtedly confusing for the general public. Be wary of low prices and too good to be true deals. A weekend crash course in injectables, lasers or liposuction is all the training some who call themselves cosmetic surgeons/doctors may have.

Selecting a board certified Plastic Surgeon, ensures that you are in the hands of a highly trained individual. To be recognized as a board certified Plastic Surgeon is to be among the elite medical professionals who have completed rigorous training, testing and continuing education. Additionally, board certified Plastic Surgeons must adhere to the strict ethical and safety guidelines demanded of the ABPS.

To ensure the very important decision of selecting your surgeon is done wisely, keep these 6 questions in mind.

  1. Is your physician board certified with the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
  2. What hospital admitting privileges does your physician have?

Hospital privileges say a lot about a surgeon as extensive background checks and board certification requirements must be met to attain such privileges.

  1. Evaluate the initial consultation?

Was the surgeon/doctor both professional and personable? Did he/she take the time to hear your concerns and answer your questions?

  1. Are you comfortable with the office staff?
  2. What is your surgeon/doctor’s experience with the procedure?

What is his/her specialty? How often has he/she done this specific procedure? Ask to see before and after pictures.

  1. What is the surgeon/doctor and office staffs’ availability to you?

Does the surgeon/doctor seem open to communication? Does he/she give you a way to reach him/her for further questions and concerns?


I hope this helps you make safe decisions in the future and wish you all the best.

Be Well,

Dr. Steven J. Rottman, MD.


Dr. Rottman is a double board certified, Baltimore Magazine 2015 Plastic Surgery Top Doc with two Baltimore area offices and hospital privileges at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Northwest Hospital and Surgery Center, Sinai Hospital and Georgetown University Hospital.


Do you have a question for Baltimore Top Doc Steven J. Rottman, MD? Send your question via email to askdrrottman@minkandrich.com and he will do his best to get an answer to you as soon as possible.

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