Examination Requirements

  • To qualify for an Application for Examination and Certification in Plastic Surgery, candidates must have a Final Confirmation Letter issued by the Board.
  • Candidates must hold active, inpatient admitting medical staff privileges in plastic surgery in a United States, Canadian or international hospital throughout the examination process. 
  • Candidates must have a current, full, valid and unrestricted license to practice medicine with an expiration date valid through the examination. Restrictions or sanctions to any medical license must be reported to the Board within 60 days of the restriction. Restrictions will delay the candidate’s progress through the examination process.
  • The Board reserves the right to defer a candidate in the examination process for consideration of ethical or other issues.  Candidates must adhere to the Board’s Advertising Requirements as well as the Code of Ethics.

  • Active practice in plastic surgery is a requirement for admissibility to the Oral Examination.
  • Fellowship training does not affect admissibility to the Written Examination but will delay admissibility to the Oral Examination. The 9-month Oral Exam case submission cannot include cases from fellowship training.
  • All candidates taking an examination of The American Board of Plastic Surgery, Inc. must complete the entire examination.
  • Certification by any other specialty board does not exempt candidates from any part of the examination process.


Candidates will be admissible to the Written Examination following successful completion of residency in plastic surgery, provided the Application for Examination and Certification is approved.

The Board cannot issue letters attesting to admissibility to the examination process to any person, institution, or organization until this formal application, along with the required supporting documents, has been reviewed and approved.

Candidates must successfully complete both the Written and Oral Examinations required to achieve certification within 8 years after completion of plastic surgery residency training.


A Reapplication is required at the end of the first 5 years of admissibility.

Candidates are advised to utilize every opportunity (i.e. examination administration years) to complete the certification examinations. That focus will help candidates avoid reaching the maximum admissibility limits and being subject to the additional Reapplication requirements after five years of admissibility. 


The Extended Admissibility Application will be required when eight years after residency is reached and the admissibility period in the examination process is exhausted. 



Admissibility policy