How to check surgeon's past mistakes?


Is there a recording system or medical bureau (similar to the BBB) which would list surgical errors, complaints, etc against a surgeon? How can I educate myself which doctor to choose other than knowing he is board certified? I plan to use a board certified doctor only.


Make sure he/she is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Good reputation.

check in your state "the medical board of physicians", the health department will direct you.

You can ask the doctor if he/she was disciplined, any action on his/her license, any action in his/her hospital privileges, any restriction on hospital privileges.

Make sure he/she is practicing within the specialty required.

Make sure he/she has hospital privileges for the procedure you are seeking

Make sure the facility where the surgery is to be performed is accredited.

Meet the doctor in consultation and see if you both can work together


 As Dr. Shureih has stated a good place to start is you states agency that licenses doctors. These are typical the Board of Medicine or Board of Medical Examiners. To check and see if they are board certified under the American Board of Medical Specialist (ABMS) consider these two web sites:



 These are the web sites for the ASPS & ASAPS. All their members are required to be Board Certified Plastic Surgeons under the ABMS. They are considered experts in the field of plastic surgery. 

 Further investigation of a surgeons background requires a fee. All doctors are required to send/ report punitive actions, law suit settlements over $100,000, etc to the National Practitioner Data Bank ( ).

 I hope this information is of assistance. Best,


Gary R Culbertson, MD, FACS


You can check with your state board of medical examiners or equivalent regarding complaints or claims against a physician.  I think you are making a wise choice to use only a board certified surgeon.  Just make sure that it is the American Board of Plastic Surgery certification and not a board with is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.  Only surgeons that have completed an accredited plastic surgery residency program are eligible for certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  However, physicians certified in any other area of medicine that are doing plastic surgery may present themselves to the public at times as a "Board Certified" "Plastic Surgeon" rather than a "Board Certified Plastic Surgeon" (that did a full residency training program in plastic surgery).

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