What Is Board Certification, and Why Does It Matter?

Improving your quality of life is undoubtedly one of your most significant goals if you’re considering undergoing cosmetic surgery. It’s true a well-executed procedure will give you a self-esteem boost for many years to come. On the other side of the coin, ending up in the hands of an inexperienced or unqualified aesthetic surgeon increases your odds of feeling even more dissatisfied about your appearance.

Finding a competent surgeon with years of training, study, and experience in your desired surgical procedure is critical to meeting your aesthetic goals and delivering results you’ll be proud to show off. The issue is that it can be difficult for a layperson to cut through all the marketing hype and recognize when a cosmetic surgeon is the right fit for you. Here’s why board certification is the most important criterion to add to your checklist. 

 The Value of Board Certification

Attaining board certification signifies a doctor’s dedication to their chosen medical specialty and discipline, as well as their commitment to upholding the highest standards of ethics and patient safety. In other words, board certification is how surgeons like Dr. Brad Stephan demonstrate their single-minded passion for pursuing the demanding art and science of the field of cosmetic surgery.

Because board certification is so challenging to earn, doing so represents a significant achievement that not all doctors strive to attain. Board-certified cosmetic surgeons share the following characteristics:

  • A wealth of knowledge and skill
  • Expertise in their specialty
  • A willingness to continually improve their delivery of care
  • Familiarity with the trends and cutting-edge advancements that characterize the field of cosmetic medicine 

What Makes Board Certification an Essential Criterion?

You might naturally assume you can rely on your state medical board to ensure the doctor of your choice is qualified to perform a given procedure. It might surprise you to learn, however, that the law doesn’t require a surgeon to have specifically trained in the procedures they offer. 

In other words, nothing legally prevents a cardiologist from advertising their services as an aesthetic surgeon, even if they never completed training in the discipline. Because procedures such as breast augmentation surgery are in such high demand, it’s conceivable a doctor with less adherence to medical ethics could take advantage of this loophole to claim an area of practice and expertise they haven’t earned.

Other Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cosmetic Surgeon

Though board certification is undoubtedly a crucial thing to research, it’s far from the only thing you should add to your checklist when choosing a doctor to perform your life-changing surgery. Here are some other things to look for, as well.

  • Extensive experience in your desired procedure
  • Friendly bedside manner
  • Honesty and openness
  • Willingness to provide testimonies and before-and-after pictures from patients who had the same surgery you are considering
  • An aesthetic philosophy that aligns with yours
  • The ability to provide one-on-one attention and a personalized treatment plan that addresses your needs
  • Cleanliness of their clinic
  • Approachability of their medical team

Finding a Board-Certified Cosmetic Surgeon in Tampa

Now that you understand why only elite cosmetic surgeons strive for – and earn – the distinction of board certification, you can appreciate what makes it essential for you to select a board-certified surgeon to perform your aesthetic procedure. 


While Dr. Stephan was completing his fellowship with the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, he performed more than five times the number of aesthetic procedures required to graduate from most plastic surgery training programs. He has dedicated his career to aesthetic medicine because of the level of skill this challenging and ever-evolving field requires. 

Dr. Stephan takes pride in providing high-quality results for his patients and finds his career exceptionally rewarding because he is helping people love the way they look and feel every day.