The American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS) provides a mechanism through which surgeons who specialize in otolaryngology’s largest subspecialty can earn additional recognition for their knowledge and skills. The following report summarizes ABFPRS activity during the past 12 months.
The ABFPRS held its annual examination on June 27-28, 2015, in Washington, D.C. Fifty-one surgeons from the U.S. and Canada, and eight surgeons taking the test as international candidates to complete IBCFPRS requirements, sat for the test, bringing to 1,650 the total number of examinees to date. This test was the 31st since the ABFPRS was established in 1986.
The examination has two parts—the written test, which consists of 300 multiple-choice items, and the oral test, which consists of 12 protocols. This year, both the written and oral tests again earned high reliability ratings during independent analysis of exam results. The reliability rating is the degree to which test scores are consistent and dependable. The failure rate was within the acceptable range for an examination at the subspecialty level.
In London, on July 11-12, 2015, Seven surgeons sat for the examination conducted by the European Board for Certification in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (EBCFPRS), and administered in cooperation with the ABFPRS for completion of EBCFPRS and the International Board for Certification in Facial Plastic Surgery (IBCFPRS) certification requirements.
Of the 1,650 examinees to date, 1,225 surgeons have completed all requirements for certification (see “ABFPRS requirements,” this page). Counting the 2015 class of diplomates, ABFPRS certificants reside in 46 states, five Canadian provinces, one U.S. territory and two other countries.
ABFPRS diplomates focus their practices in a variety of ways. This year, 96% of ABFPRS diplomates report spending some practice time performing cosmetic surgery, while 81% perform some reconstructive surgery. They spend the balance of their practice time performing other otolaryngologic procedures, including allergy and sinus, burn surgery, cleft lip/palate and craniofacial/skull-base surgery, diving and hyperbaric medicine, drug study and research, facial dermatologic skin care, head and neck surgery, laser treatments, oral surgery, otology, rhinology, sleep apnea, and TMJ.
ABFPRS diplomates also practice in a variety of settings. This year, 30% report spending some time in an academic practice, with the median amount of time spent being 50%. Also, 49% spend some time in a private solo practice, 26% in a private single-specialty group, and 10% in a private, multi-specialty group—with the median amount of time spent being 100% in each of these settings. Further, 3% spend a median of 100% of their time in other settings, ranging from the armed services and the Veterans Administration to HMOs, hospitals, and medical foundations.
Maintenance Of Certification in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® Program
On June 28th, thirty-six more ABFPRS diplomates took the ABFPRS Maintenance Of Certification in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® examination to complete ABFPRS recertification requirements. This brings the total number of surgeons who have completed all ABFPRS Maintenance Of Certification in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® ® requirements to 206.
Support for the ABFPRS
Twenty-six state and national medical societies sponsor the ABFPRS, including the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Further, the ABFPRS credential has been found to be equivalent to the primary boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties in every state that has set standards for such equivalence, so that the credential continues to be recognized in all 50 states, U.S. territories, and Canadian provinces.
Robert M. Kellman, M.D.