Is your plastic surgeon board certified? That’s the first of many questions to ask

Doctors are highly trained professionals who must meet a variety of standards in order to practice medicine. Two important measures of a doctor’s qualifications are board certification and hospital privileges. Board certification is a voluntary process that demonstrates a physician has met certain standards of care and knowledge. Hospital privileges refer to the permission given to doctors by hospitals to admit, diagnose, treat, and discharge patients from the facility. In this article, we will explore what board certification is, why it matters, how to check a doctor’s credentials, what hospital privileges are, and why they matter.

Board Certification

What is Board Certification?

Board certification is a voluntary process that allows physicians to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and commitment to providing quality patient care. It is a way for physicians to demonstrate their expertise in a particular specialty or subspecialty of medicine. The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is the primary organization responsible for certifying physicians in the United States. Each ABMS member board sets its own standards for certification and recertification, which may include examinations, continuing medical education (CME) requirements, and professional practice evaluations.

What are the Benefits of Board Certification?

Board certification provides assurance that a physician has met specific standards of training and experience in order to provide quality patient care. It also gives patients peace of mind knowing that their physician has been evaluated by an independent body and found to meet certain standards of excellence. Additionally, many hospitals require board certification as part of their credentialing process for admitting privileges.

How to Check a Doctor’s Credentials

The best way to check if your doctor is board certified is to use the online directory provided by the ABMS. This directory will show you which board(s) your doctor is certified by, as well as any other relevant information such as years in practice and areas of specialization. You can also contact your state medical board or local hospital for more information about a particular doctor’s credentials.

Board Certification
Voluntary process to demonstrate knowledge, skills, and commitment to providing quality patient care
Evaluated by independent body and found to meet certain standards of excellence
Required by hospitals for admitting privileges

Hospital Privileges

What Are Hospital Privileges?

Hospital privileges are the rights granted to a doctor or other health care provider by a particular hospital. This allows them to practice and provide medical care at that particular hospital. It is important to note that each hospital may have different criteria for granting privileges. In general, these privileges include the ability to: admit patients, order tests, prescribe medications, perform procedures, and make referrals.

Why Do They Matter?

Hospital privileges are an important part of ensuring quality healthcare. By having hospital privileges, doctors demonstrate that they have the experience and qualifications necessary to practice medicine in a professional setting. Additionally, hospitals often require doctors to have certain qualifications before granting them privileges, such as board certification in their specialty or completion of a fellowship program. This helps ensure that only qualified professionals are providing care within the hospital’s walls.

Having hospital privileges also signifies that the doctor has a history of providing quality care and adhering to the standards set forth by the hospital. This means that when you seek treatment from a doctor with hospital privileges, you can be assured that they have met certain requirements for practicing medicine in that particular hospital. Furthermore, having hospital privileges at multiple facilities can indicate a higher level of expertise or specialization in certain areas of medicine.

Admit Patients
Allow a doctor to admit patients into the hospital
Order Tests
Permit a doctor to order tests for their patients
Prescribe Medications
Enable a doctor to prescribe medications to their patients
Perform Procedures
Allow a doctor to perform procedures on their patients in the hospital setting
Make Referrals
Enable a doctor to refer patients to specialists or other hospitals as needed


When selecting a physician, it is important to consider their credentials and hospital privileges as both can be indicators of quality. Board certification is a voluntary process that physicians must undergo in order to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in their specialty. It is an important credential that can help patients make an informed decision when choosing a doctor. Hospital privileges are also important as they indicate the doctor’s ability to provide care at a given hospital.

It is essential for patients to do research on their physician before making an appointment. Patients should check to see if the doctor is board certified and has hospital privileges at the institution where they will be receiving care. Doing so can help ensure that the patient is selecting a qualified physician who meets all of the necessary qualifications for providing quality medical care.

In conclusion, board certification and hospital privileges are two important factors that should be taken into consideration when selecting a physician. Knowing these credentials provides patients with peace of mind when making decisions about their healthcare needs. Taking the time to research a doctor’s credentials can give patients assurance that they are receiving the best possible care from a qualified provider.