Overview of Examination Processes

  • Candidates must successfully complete both the Written & Oral Examinations required to achieve certification within 8 years after completion of plastic surgery residency training. Reapplication requirements must be met at the end of the first 5 years of admissibility.
  • Active practice in plastic surgery is a requirement for admissibility to the Written and Oral Examinations. Graduating residents not in active practice, or in fellowship training, are not required to provide hospital privileges for the residency graduation year.
  • 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.

The Board reserves the right to defer a candidate in the examination process for consideration of ethical or other issues. Refer to the Board’s Code of Ethics.

Certification by any other specialty board does not exempt candidates from any part of the examination process.



The primary purpose of the Board is to evaluate the education, training, and knowledge of broadly competent and responsible plastic surgeons. 

The Written Examination is a Computer Based Test (CBT) offered at Prometric® Test Centers in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. 

The Written Examination is administered on one day in May. No exceptions will be made, and special examinations will be given only under unusual circumstances. The Board cannot guarantee scheduling for specific test centers.

Refer to Overview of Written Exam.


Candidate's must successfully pass the Written Examination and submit a nine-month case list for admissibility to the Oral Examination. The Board reviews each candidate's operative list to ensure it reflects sufficient diversity, complexity and volume of plastic surgery procedures to permit construction of a reasonable examination of the candidate for certification.

If the case list is adequate, the Board selects five cases from the candidate’s case list and the candidate is required to prepare case reports for these selected cases. 

The Oral Examination is held each November in Phoenix, AZ. Candidates are examined over two days during three exam sessions.

Examiners of the Board are formally trained and evaluated by past and current Directors of the Board. 

Refer to Overview of Oral Exam.



2024-2025 Booklet of Information