The Importance of Board Certification
If you've searched for a plastic surgeon in Seattle or Bellevue, WA for any length of time, you've probably come across the term "board certified." But what exactly is board certification? Is it a reliable indicator of a surgeon's skill? And how can you be sure that a doctor is honest about his or her credentials?
Dr. Braden Stridde encourages prospective plastic surgery patients to do their research and choose their surgeon wisely. If you're ready to learn more about this talented physician, request your consultation online, or call our office at
What Is Board Certification?
Board certification is a general term used to identify doctors who have undergone specialized training and testing beyond their basic medical education. The extent of this special training depends on the board. Most medical specialties, not just plastic surgery, have their own boards that evaluate the field-specific skills of their doctors.
In the United States, the most respected plastic surgery certification board is The American Board of Plastic Surgery, or ABPS. The requirements of certification by The ABPS include:
- A 4-year undergraduate degree
- A degree from an accredited medical school
- A minimum of 5 years in surgical internship and residency
- A minimum of 2 years specializing in plastic surgery
- Passing scores on rigorous written and oral exams
The ABPS is the only plastic surgery board that has been recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties, which oversees 24 boards in a variety of medical fields. Other so-called boards which are not part of the American Board of Medical Specialities, have less stringent admittance policies, and some are little more than clubs.
Most local plastic surgeons in Seattle and Bellevue, WA as well as other parts of the country do not become board certified until several years into their careers. During this time, they may further develop their skills by sharing a practice with other, more experienced surgeons. Be sure to ask any surgeons you consult with about their education and certification status.
How Do I Know Whether My Doctor Is Board Certified?
Regardless of specialty, physicians aren't allowed to advertise false board certification. The ABPS takes these infractions very seriously, and a doctor who advertises board certification without being certified often faces serious, long-term consequences. For this reason, instances of false representation are rare.
If you'd like to know for certain about the validity of your surgeon's board certification, The ABPS provides a full list of all current doctors in good standing on its website.
Cosmetic or Plastic Surgeon: What's the Difference?
Many people believe that the terms "cosmetic surgeon" and "plastic surgeon" are interchangeable. Although they are often similar, they are not the same.
The term "cosmetic surgeon" denotes any surgeon who performs an invasive procedure to improve the appearance of a patient. Cosmetic surgery is a non-technical term, and it's not a specialty that can be pursued in medical school.
A plastic surgeon, however, is a physician who has completed a residency and been trained specifically in plastic surgery. Though much of the work of plastic surgeons is cosmetic, the field of plastic surgery is complex and includes reconstructive procedures. A plastic surgeon can call him or herself a cosmetic surgeon, but a surgeon who performs cosmetic procedures cannot call him or herself a plastic surgeon until he or she has completed the necessary training.
Dr. Braden Stridde: A Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
In addition to successfully completing a plastic surgery residency at the University of Washington, Dr. Stridde is certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery. This means that Dr. Stridde is committed to the safety and well-being of his patients and is highly qualified to perform a variety of plastic surgery procedures. Dr. Stridde has devoted his career to advancing his skills in plastic surgery, and he is excited to work with new patients and help them realize their goals.