When it comes to medical professionals, board certification is not a requirement for practice, but it is a great way to determine a doctor's experience. All doctors must be licensed in the state in which they plan to practice, which requires graduating from medical school and passing a national exam. In some cases, it is possible to get a doctor's license without completing a residency after an internship. For more information, contact your state's medical board. A fully trained surgeon is a doctor who has completed medical school and has gone through years of training in an accredited residency program to learn the specialized skills of a surgery.
A good indication of a surgeon's competence is the certification from a national surgical board approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). All board-certified surgeons have successfully completed an approved residency program and have passed a rigorous specialty exam. Each specialty has its own certification body, most of which are under the ABMS. To learn more about certified doctors and specialists, as well as specialties and subspecialties, check out the ABMS Board Certification Report and the Medical Specialty Guide. The ABPS also maintains a database for members of the public who want to confirm that a particular physician has obtained and maintains board certification in one or more specialties.