Can Medical Doctors Become Plastic Surgeons?

At Cosmetic Surgery Associates of New York our board-certified plastic surgeons have years of training & experience in cancer reconstruction & cosmetic procedures.

Can Medical Doctors Become Plastic Surgeons?

At Cosmetic Surgery Associates of New York, our plastic surgeons have years of training and experience. Our 4 board-certified plastic surgeons are members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Rogal is a board certified head and neck surgeon with subspecialty training in facial and reconstructive plastic surgery. Find out how we can turn your vision of yourself into reality when you visit us for cosmetic plastic surgery in Westchester County, New York City and Putnam County, NY.

A plastic surgeon performs operations that modify the appearance or shape of a part of a patient's body. These licensed medical professionals not only perform cosmetic surgeries, such as facelifts or nose jobs, but they also perform reconstructive surgery for patients with facial and body abnormalities caused by injury, birth defects, illness, or aging. The specific procedures plastic surgeons perform depend on their specialty. For example, craniomaxillofacial surgeons diagnose and treat patients with conditions that affect the face, neck, jaws, and mouth.

Cosmetic surgeons can perform liposuction or breast augmentation. Burned surgeons can remove dead skin, graft new skin, and work to reduce scarring in patients with burn injuries. To become a plastic surgeon, you must complete a rigorous educational program that includes a bachelor's degree, medical school, residency program, and fellowship program. Ideal programs include biology, physics and chemistry. Some schools offer pre-medical programs that prepare you for graduate study in medicine.

To gain admission to a medical school, you must pass the Medical School Admission Test (MCAT) and send letters of recommendation from mentors, professors, accredited physicians, or individuals with good standing in the community. Demonstrating leadership qualities, working in a healthcare facility, and participating in multiple medical conferences can give you an advantage when applying to medical school. You must have a doctor of medicine (M. D.) degree to become a plastic surgeon. The program generally takes four years to complete.

You'll spend your first two years in medical school taking advanced courses in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, microbiology and pathology. The remaining two years are dedicated to clinical rotations, where you will gain experience working directly with patients. In the U. S., to get a license you must pass the U. S.

Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX). The USMLE and the COMLEX consist of three parts, each intended to see how well basic and advanced scientific concepts apply to the practice of medicine. Once you become a licensed physician, you must complete a three-year general surgery residency program which includes clinical rotations in various types of surgery. You can then perform a three-year plastic surgery residency which requires you to rotate through the plastic surgery rooms of several hospitals and offices. A plastic surgery residency program can cover head, face, burn and neck surgery; skin grafting and surgery; plastic microsurgery techniques; and cosmetic surgery of the breast, neck and head. It can also cover wound healing; emergency care; fluid replacement; and the relationship of basic science to surgical techniques.

The program may also require you to attend conferences; gain teaching experience; conduct research; participate in journal clubs; and dissect cadavers. If you want to specialize in a subspecialty of plastic surgery you can complete a one-year fellowship program. Fellowships are available in several areas including cosmetic surgery; microvascular reconstructive surgery; body contouring; craniofacial surgery; and hand surgery. In addition to completing clinical training in your specialty you may also need to complete a research project. If you are an allopathic plastic surgeon you can obtain voluntary subspecialty certification in hand neck and head surgery from the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Plastic surgeons practice in a variety of settings including community and academic hospitals; trauma rooms; private practices; multi-specialty practices; and outpatient clinics. Manual dexterity; hand-eye coordination; attention to detail; staying calm under pressure; being an excellent team player; recognizing everyone's contribution to a successful operation; having excellent communication skills; being able to talk to their team - these are all essential qualities for any aspiring plastic surgeon.