Steps In Becoming A Plastic Surgeon

Many people associate plastic surgeons with nose jobs, face lifts and other cosmetic procedures. However, plastic surgeons also perform many reconstructive procedures including breast reconstruction and repair congenital deformities in various parts of the body. Plastic surgeons treat burns, perform hand surgeries and revise scars that have not healed properly. Many people find rewarding careers in plastic and breast surgery, here are steps you can take to become a plastic or breast surgeon.


The first requirement for becoming a plastic surgeon is a college degree. You can major in sciences or in other medical fields provided you take pre-medical courses as your core courses. Typical pre-medical courses include English, physics, mathematics, anatomy, organic chemistry, breast surgery and physiology.

Medical or Osteopath School

After obtaining a degree, enroll in a medical or osteopath school. Here, you will be required to undertake a four-year degree program divided into two classroom years and two clinical years. The clinical phase exposes students to different areas of medicine including psychiatry, obstetrics, internal medicine, pediatrics, gynecology and family medicine. You will be required to take overnight shifts in a breast clinic or hospital just like certified physicians.

Plastic Surgery Residency Match Program

The plastic surgery residency match program (PSMP) provides residency programs for aspiring plastic surgeons in their third year of medical or osteopath studies. To be accepted into the program, you are required to submit your transcripts and recommendation letters to the PSMP. Once accepted into the program, you will be given materials for the programs you want. Students are advised to attend the highest residency programs that accept them.

Steps In Becoming A Plastic Surgeon


A plastic residency program takes five to six weeks to complete. A breast surgeon residency program provides comprehensive training in different fields of plastic surgery including head and neck surgery, hand surgery, neurological surgery, breast surgery, burn care, pediatric plastic surgery and craniofacial surgery.


Additional fellowship is required of all students who want to specialize in specific areas of plastic surgery such as pediatric plastic surgery, aesthetic surgery, craniofacial surgery and hand surgery. This training usually takes a year or two to complete.

Licensing Examination

Licensing exams for plastic surgeons should be done when they are still in medical or osteopath schools. Plastic surgeon licensing exams are administered by the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). These exams are done in levels. First level licensing exams are taken after the second year of medical or osteopath school, second level exams in the third year of medical or osteopath school and finally third level licensing exams in the third year of residency. Students who pass the third level of licensing exams are officially licensed to practice medicine even if they have not completed their residency. Such students can make extra money by working extra breast clinic shifts as independent contractors.

Board Certification

There are two exams that you are required to sit for to complete your residency program. These are:

•           The plastic surgery qualifying examination

•           The plastic surgery certifying examination

These exams are administered by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. You will be board-certified to practice plastic surgery once you pass this test. However, those who decide to pursue careers in sub specialties are required to take special examinations to demonstrate proficiency in their sub-specialties.

This post comes from the office of Hollywood Breast Clinic, a certified breast clinic in Perth with fully qualified and experienced breast surgeons.