November 28, 2020 | By Tampa Palms Plastic Surgery

Board-Certified Cosmetic Surgeon Vs. Plastic Surgeon: Why You Should Know the Difference

Cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery are distinct medical disciplines that require different levels of training. While cosmetic surgery focuses solely on improving aesthetics, plastic surgery is often used to reconstruct damaged areas of the body. For this reason, board-certified cosmetic surgeons often don’t meet the training requirements of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. 

Learn more about the distinctions between board-certified cosmetic surgeons and plastic surgeons below. 

Comparing Training for Cosmetic Surgeons and Plastic Surgeons

Due to the rapid increase in demand for aesthetic procedures, patients may struggle to track down a trained, reputable plastic surgeon. Deceptive ads and misleading information about cosmetic surgery can lead to a low level of care for patients seeking aesthetic care. “Board-certified” can be a particularly misleading distinction and inhibit patients from finding the right provider for cosmetic procedures. 

Almost 10 percent of doctors certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) didn’t receive training in a surgical discipline, according to a study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. This publication is the formal medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, or ASPS. What’s more, this study showed that more than half of ABCS-certified doctors included surgical procedures in their marketed services that weren’t covered in their residency training, whether with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)  or the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). 

Care Beyond the Scope of Training

Board-certified cosmetic surgeons performing procedures beyond the scope of their training is a major concern that can interfere with the quality of patients’ surgical care. The most prevalent examples of cosmetic procedures provided outside  the scope of surgeons’ training include liposuction, abdominoplasty, breast augmentation, and buttock augmentation. 

To achieve your aesthetic goals and protect your health, you need a doctor with the training and expertise to perform the procedure at the highest level in the industry. This simply isn’t possible if the procedure falls outside of the scope of the doctor’s specialty. For example, all aesthetic surgical procedures are out of scope for general surgery and OB/GYN. In the dermatology specialty, surgical procedures excluding Mohs surgery or skin lesion surgery are out of scope. For a doctor with a specialty in internal medicine, all surgical procedures fall outside of the scope of training. 

Choosing a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

You can ensure the caliber and reliability of your aesthetic surgeon by selecting a board-certified plastic surgeon. This distinction is crucial to know that cosmetic procedures you desire are within your doctor’s scope of training. 

Board-certified plastic surgeons, such as Dr. Mosiello at Tampa Palms Plastic Surgery, have completed a minimum of six years of surgical training. This includes the fulfillment of an authorized plastic surgery training program. Additionally, to receive a certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery, surgeons must complete a breadth of cosmetic and reconstructive surgical procedures, as well as pass exacting written and oral examinations. Board-certified plastic surgeons must also complete various assessments and continuing education over the course of their professional careers and be recertified every 10 years! 

Contact Tampa Palms Plastic Surgery today to learn more about cosmetic procedures from our board-certified plastic surgeon. 


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I love Tampa Palms Plastic Surgery ~ Dr. Moseillo, Mary, Nancy & Paula. I had breast cancer and reconstruction with Dr. Moseillo several years ago and knew I would never let anyone perform surgery on me other than him. I decided I wanted to do an Upper Blepharoplasty (upper eyelid surgery). I had the surgery a few months ago, am now at my summer home in Maine and everyone is commenting on how great I look. They have no idea that I had anything done! I keep hearing, “you have amazing eyes”. I am so thrilled with the results, feel 10 years younger and if you’re thinking about this procedure, or any other for that matter, do not hesitate to go to Tampa Palms

Tammy Ahearn

Dr. Mosiello, plain and simply put , is the BEST ! I did a lot of research and he was the one I chose and am very thankful and grateful that I did, as I had consulted with other plastic surgeons from other cancer centers. Dr. Mosiello surpassed in every area. He and his staff truly care and are warm, friendly, compassionate and knowledgeable. Which takes the stress out of any pre surgery or procedure. Knowing you have the best surgeon in your corner is the most important part. Post surgical procedures look amazing and he has saved my life, and has made me whole again. Look no further, he IS the best.

Stacy Kurnot

Dr. Mosiello taught me how to live again after having breast cancer. His staff is truly a blessing. He is an amazing artist and a wonderful Doctor and friend.

Susan Harrigan

I came to Dr. Mosiello’s practice as a reluctant patient who had just been given the diagnosis of breast cancer. I have been in several doctors’ office’s during my diagnosis and treatment and Dr. Mosiello’s office is my favorite. He is a very kind, competent surgeon who patiently answered questions and explained things fully. I was given clear post op directions and checked on by the nurse before my first post op visit and someone was always available if I had a question or concern. His staff is amazing! Melissa, Paula, Mary and Carol are all very personable and caring. This is also an office where I did not wait long periods of time to be seen. Things run smoothly and timely. I would highly recommend Dr. Mosiello to anyone in need of a plastic surgeon.

Melissa H

Dr. Mosiello is an absolute pleasure and privilege to have when in circumstances requiring his knowledge and care. His staff are fantastic as well, all welcoming with a kind smile. Highly recommend this is a doctor and team you can put your trust in.