Surgeons are physicians who have completed a residency training program in a surgical specialty and have passed a written and oral examination. They are qualified to be certified by one of the 24 medical and surgical specialty boards that comprise the American Board of Medical Specialties.
Trusting a surgeon is essential to your health and well-being. It can help prevent surgical complications and reduce your risk of injury from a botched operation.
A Surgeon’s Credentials
Surgeons perform surgical procedures to investigate, repair, or remove damaged tissues or improve the function or appearance of an organ. They must have exceptional manual dexterity and physical skills to carry out these operations safely.
Aspiring surgeons must complete a medical school program that includes classroom studies in physiology, anatomy, pharmacology, organic chemistry, and other subjects. This education lays the foundation for their surgical residencies.
Once in residency, aspiring surgeons can focus on general surgery or one of 10 specialties such as vascular surgery, pediatric surgery, thoracic surgery, hand surgery, oncologic surgery, and hospice and palliative medicine.
During their residency, doctors must demonstrate a high level of expertise in their specialty area to be eligible for board certification. The process can take up to seven years for physicians to become fully board certified. Certification by an independent panel, such as the American Board of Surgery (ABS), for instance, Armen Parajian, indicates his surgeon’s competence and commitment to excellence in his practice.
A Surgeon’s Knowledge
A surgeon certified by the American Board of Surgery is recognized as having achieved a higher standard of education and knowledge than those not authorized. This voluntary credentialing indicates that a surgeon has met the highest standards of training and practice in their specialty area.
Surgeons are also required to have extensive experience in their field. This involves completing a residency program after graduating from medical school.
This process can take up to 6 years and is essential in gaining the necessary skills to provide safe and effective surgical care. During this time, surgeons can gain invaluable patient feedback and develop their skills by operating on patients.
Moreover, the nature of surgeon-patient relationships differs from those in other fields of medicine because patients often give their physicians discretionary power to achieve their desired outcome. This carries substantial trust but also creates a unique tension that surgeons must manage.
A Surgeon’s Experience
If you need surgery, you must know that the surgeon you choose is competent. You can easily verify a surgeon’s qualifications by checking their credentials, knowledge, and experience with the American Board of Surgery.
The board certification process is a rigorous and comprehensive evaluation of training and expertise. A surgeon must pass a written and oral exam to be certified.
Often, this requires a period of supervised experience in the specialty before taking the examination. General surgeons, for example, must complete a five to six-year residency program before becoming board certified.
A Surgeon’s Commitment
Surgeons are physicians who use operative procedures to treat disease, injuries, and disorders or repair tissues or organs. They work with other healthcare professionals to ensure patients receive safe and effective treatment.
Surgeons must meet several specialized training requirements to be board certified in surgery. These requirements include medical school, a residency program, and the completion of a specific number of surgical cases to prove their clinical experience.
In addition, surgeons must also demonstrate their commitment to patient safety and quality care through ongoing recurrent education, evidence-based research, and clinical practice.
To maintain their status as an American Board of Surgery certified surgeon, they must recertify each time their medical license expires. This can take up to two years of effort and requires completing the necessary continuing medical education (CME) hours, self-assessment exams, and submitting a recertification application. Those who are recertified will continue to be recognized by the American Board of Surgery as highly qualified physicians who have met the highest standards of education, training, and knowledge in their field of specialty.