What Is Board Certification?

Serving Knoxville, Sevierville, Knox County & Nearby Areas of Tennessee

Choosing a plastic surgeon can be daunting. After all, you're placing your trust in someone to care not only for your appearance but your health and your self-image. Meeting with the doctor and learning firsthand about his experience, training, and bedside manner is a must, but how do you even start to make a shortlist of plastic surgeons?

Board certification as a plastic surgeon is one of the things you should definitely look for before you schedule an appointment. Although every patient is different and past results do not guarantee a similar outcome, board-certified plastic surgeons have met advanced requirements for training, education, and experience beyond the qualifications to practice medicine.

Dr. Dean Kleto is a board-certified plastic surgeon. He has been serving Knoxville, Sevierville, Knox County, and nearby areas of Tennessee for over 25 years. Please call  865.524.2442 to schedule your initial consultation.


How Does a Doctor Become a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon?

Board certification in plastic surgery is issued exclusively by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Certification is not required to practice plastic surgery, but doctors who are board-certified demonstrate a commitment to practicing as a plastic surgeon.

The requirements for board certification are extensive:

  • The path to certification begins with graduation from an accredited medical school
  • After graduating, doctors must complete a residency surgical training program lasting a minimum of 6 years
  • At least 3 years of the residency training must be devoted to plastic surgery
  • Candidates must submit a Resident Registration and Evaluation of Training Form to the ABPS at the end of their residency
  • After residency training, candidates must practice plastic surgery for a minimum of nine months and maintain a case list
  • The board will select 5 cases from the candidate's case list for review; the candidate must create reports for each case to qualify for the oral exam
  • The oral exam takes place over nearly 3 days; candidates are examined on theory and practice as well as their case reports
  • Candidates must also complete a written exam comprising 350 questions testing their knowledge, training, and practical and ethical surgical experience

The ABPS estimates that fewer than 7,000 board-certified plastic surgeons are actively practicing nationwide. By comparison, 2019 data from the Kaiser Family Foundation show there are 1.05 million active doctors in the United States overall.

What Is the American Board of Plastic Surgery?

Many organizations in the United States and abroad offer special credentials and recognition for plastic and cosmetic surgeons. The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) is one of them, but it is very different from societies simply offering membership.

The ABPS is part of the American Board of Medical Specialties. This board includes 24 specialty medical boards that set the standards for what it takes for a doctor to demonstrate specialized expertise in his or her chosen field. Member boards include a number of different surgical specialties, including neurological surgery, orthopedic surgery, and thoracic surgery.

plastic surgery operating room

If you need brain surgery, surgery for a broken bone, or heart surgery, your first choice would be a qualified specialist. Board-certified plastic surgeons demonstrate a commitment to the highest standard of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, completing rigorous training and pursuing certification voluntarily to prove that they offer a recognizably high standard of care.

As it says on Certification Matters, a website maintained by the American Board of Medical Specialties:

"Board Certification is an extra step that many doctors choose to take to demonstrate that they know the latest advancemenets in their specialty. Board Certified doctors demonstrate their desire to practice at the top of their profession and deliver high-quality care to their patients."

Why Choose Dr. Kleto for Your Plastic Surgery?

Dr. Kleto achieved his board certification in plastic surgery in 1988. Since then, he has joined other leading plastic surgery organizations and continued recognition for his patient care and quality results. He looks forward to meeting with you personally and answering all of your questions.

Please call  865.524.2442  to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Kleto. Our plastic surgery offices are located in Knoxville and Sevierville, and we welcome patients throughout Knox County and nearby areas of Tennessee.


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