Whether you are referred to a physician for surgical care, or you make the
choice yourself, don’t take your surgeon’s qualifications for granted. Make
sure your operation is performed by a competent physician whose specialty
is surgery. It could be the most important decision you make.
Board Certification is a good sign of a surgeon’s competence.It is certification
given by a surgical board that is approved by the American Board of Medical
Specialties. When you choose a surgeon who is board certified in a surgical
specialty, you are assured that he or she has completed years of residency
training in his specialty and has demonstrated his knowledge and competence
by successfully completing a rigorous examination.
The letters F.A.C.S. (Fellow of the American College of Surgeons) or “F.A.C.O.S.”
(Fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons) after a surgeon’s name
are an indication to the patient that the surgeon has passed a thorough evaluation
of both professional competence and ethical fitness. Fellows are board-certified
surgeons or, in unusual circumstances, have met other standards comparable to
board certification. A Fellow has committed himself or herself unequivocally to
place the welfare of his patients above any other consideration; to avoid division
of fees with other physicians; to make his fees commensurate with the services
he renders; and to refrain from performing unjustified operations. In instances
where a Fellow has been found to violate these principles, he or she has been
subjected to disciplinary action and even has been expelled from Fellowship.