Credentialing, Recognition, Examination
When I assumed the presidency of the AAFPRS, credentialing and recognition for facial plastic surgeons were the most pressing issues we faced. Roadblocks to establishing an independent certifying board came from without—and within—the AAFPRS, as well as from organized otolaryngology. After being voted down by the AAFPRS Board of Directors on three separate occasions, the fourth vote was the charm. By the slimmest of margins (8-7) activation of the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery was approved. The first examination was given to graduating fellows that same year.
With it, facial plastic surgery came of age. It had achieved the necessary components of “specialty status”: an educational arm (AAFPRS Foundation), a socio-political arm (AAFPRS), and a certifying arm (ABFPRS.) In every state in which a challenge has arisen, “equivalent” ABMS specialty status has been deservedly recognized—a reality that remains difficult for the opposition to swallow.
Note: Summary taken from Academy printed material