Frequently Asked Questions


What does Board Certification mean?

Board Certification of a physician is a rigorous process of verification and validation of:

with the goal of assuring the public and various medical institutions (like hospitals) about the legitimacy, training, experience and competence of a practitioner. In the USA and Canada, physician board certification is overseen by the American Board of Medical Specialties and its component certifying boards, such as the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery.


What is the American Board of Medical Specialties?

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is the umbrella organization for the 24 approved medical specialty boards in the United States. Established in 1933, the ABMS serves to coordinate the activities of its Member Boards and to provide information to the public, the government, the profession and its Members concerning issues involving specialization and certification in medicine. The mission of the ABMS is to maintain and improve the quality of medical care in the United States by assisting the Member Boards in their efforts to develop and utilize professional and educational standards for the evaluation and certification of physician specialists.

The governing body of each Member Board is comprised of specialists qualified in the specialty represented by the board. The individual Member Boards evaluate physician candidates who voluntarily seek certification by a Member Board of the ABMS. To accomplish this function, the Member Boards determine whether candidates have received appropriate preparation in approved residency training programs in accordance with established educational standards, evaluate candidates with comprehensive examinations, and certify those candidates who have satisfied the board requirements. Physicians who are successful in achieving certification are called diplomates of the respective specialty board. The boards also offer recertification for qualified diplomates at intervals of seven to ten years.

More about the American Board of Medical Specialties.


What is The American Board of Plastic Surgery?

The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) was founded in 1937 and officially recognized in 1941, for the purpose of certifying those found to be qualified after meeting specific intensive educational requirements and completing a multi-part examination process. A major reason for establishing the specialty board was to identify the Plastic Surgeon who has met a certain standard of excellence.

Typically, a successful candidate for ABPS certification must have:

The ABPS is an independent, non-profit organization with worldwide recognition. It is one of the twenty-four certifying boards that are members of the American Board of Medical Specialties. The Directors of the American Board of Plastic Surgery are distinguished surgeons in education, research, and practice in the United States.

More about The American Board of Plastic Surgery.


What is the American Board of Surgery?

The American Board of Surgery (ABS) was founded in 1937 for the purpose of certifying those found to be qualified after meeting specific requirements and completing an examination process. A major reason for establishing the specialty board was to identify the surgeon who has met a certain standard of excellence.

Like the ABPS, the ABS is an independent, non-profit organization with worldwide recognition. It is one of the twenty-four certifying boards that are members of the American Board of Medical Specialties. The Directors of the American Board of Surgery are distinguished surgeons in education, research, and practice in the United States.

For certification the American Board of Surgery typically requires:

More about the American Board of Surgery.


What does F.A.C.S. mean?

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) is a scientific and educational association of surgeons that was organized to improve the quality of care of the surgical patient by setting high standards for surgical education and practice.

The ACS admits to its Fellowship only those surgeons whose professional activity is devoted to surgical practice and who agree without compromise to practice by the professional and ethical standards of the College.

The letters F.A.C.S. (Fellow of the American College of Surgeons) after a surgeon's name mean that the surgeon's education and training, professional qualifications, surgical competence, and ethical conduct have passed a rigorous evaluation and have been found to be consistent with the high standards established and demanded by the College.

More about the American College of Surgeons.


What is the American Society of Plastic Surgeons?

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is the national organization of Plastic Surgeons in the USA and Canada. It supports its members in their efforts to provide the highest quality patient care and seeks to maintain professional and ethical standards through education, research, and advocacy of socioeconomic and professional activities.

The society acts as a unifying force among member plastic surgeons and as a source of organizational strength. It serves the public (as well as its members) by acting as an authority on plastic surgery procedures, and a source for research information and health policy issues. The ASPS also attempts to educate the public and the medical community about Plastic Surgery, and questions germane to Plastic Surgery. Its Educational Foundation sponsors research and instruction in Plastic Surgery.

Because many practitioners can call themselves "Plastic Surgeons," the ASPS assists the public by limiting use of its ASPS 'Symbol of Excellence' to its Active, Life and Corresponding members.

More about the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.


Tell me about Harvard Medical School.

Harvard Medical School is one of the foremost institutions in medical education and research, with great breadth and depth to its investigational and clinical departments. The faculty numbers nearly 8,000, and there are 17 affiliated hospital and research institutions. The student body is composed of 650 men and women in the MD program; 477 students in the PhD program; and 132 in the joint MD-PhD programs, part of which is conducted in collaboration with MIT.

On September 19, 1782, the president and fellows of Harvard College adopted a report embodying plans for a medical school. It started with a handful of students and a faculty of three in Harvard Hall. The Medical School moved from Cambridge to Boston in 1810, and has been there ever since, occupying several different locations. In 1906, the Medical School moved to its present Longwood Avenue location in Boston, and the five marble-faced buildings that compose the Quadrangle were dedicated.

The Medical School is the largest of Harvard's graduate faculties, with affiliations among many of greater Boston's university- and community-hospitals. It is located in Boston's Fenway neighborhood, a considerable distance from Harvard's main campus in Cambridge.

More about Harvard Medical School.


Tell me about Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S) began when King's College (renamed after the revolution to Columbia University) organized a medical faculty in 1767, and was the first institution in the North American Colonies to confer the degree of Doctor of Medicine.

In 1814 the medical faculty of Columbia College was merged with the College of Physicians and Surgeons, which had obtained an independent charter in 1807.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons remains one of the most respected medical education institutions in greater New York. It maintains affiliations with several community teaching hospitals as well as with its own main teaching facility, Presbyterian Hospital--now merged with New York Hospital.

More about the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.


Tell me about Roosevelt Hospital.

Roosevelt Hospital was established by the bequest of James Henry Roosevelt, a wealthy New Yorker who died in 1869 and left an estate of close to $1 million. It opened in 1871 on the block bordered by West 58th and 59th Streets and Ninth and Tenth Avenues in Manhattan. Many of the early staff of Roosevelt Hospital held faculty appointments at Columbia's medical school, which for a time was located across the street from the hospital. Roosevelt Hospital established an ambulance service in 1877 and an outpatient department in 1881. The Syms Operating Pavilion, highly advanced for the time, was completed in 1892. In the 19th century, hospitals were generally regarded as only fit for the poor, and it was quite common even to perform operations in the home. Roosevelt's Private Patients' Pavilion, erected in 1896, was established to provide service equivalent to the finest hotels of the day, together with the advantage of full hospital facilities. It proved highly successful. By 1951, only the four-story administration building of 1871 and its annex remained from the early complex. The nine-story Tower Building, with its entrance on Ninth Avenue, opened in 1953. It connected with the nine-story Ward Building, opened in 1923. In the 1990s, a new hospital building on the Roosevelt campus replaced the antiquated facilities on Ninth Avenue.

Founded in 1850 by an Episcopalian minister, Rev. William Augustus Muhlenberg, St. Luke's Hospital opened in 1858 on Fifth Avenue between 54th and 55th streets. A school of nursing was added in 1888. St. Luke's moved in 1896 to the rapidly developing neighborhood of Morningside Heights in upper Manhattan, where a building had been constructed on the block between West 113th and 114th streets and between Amsterdam Avenue and Morningside Drive, just north of the site where the Episcopalians were building the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the world's largest cathedral. St. Luke's merged with nearby Women's Hospital in 1952, thereby providing obstetrical services for the first time. New buildings were completed in 1954 and 1957, and another opened in 1965 for Women's Hospital, filling in the last space available on St. Luke's city block. In the 1990s, St. Luke's built a facility north of its complex and extensively renovated its existing buildings.

St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, was formed in 1979 by a merger of St. Luke's Hospital, adjacent to the campus of Columbia University, and The Roosevelt Hospital, located two blocks west of Columbus Circle. In 1997, St.Luke's/Roosevelt became a part of the Continuum Health Partners, a nonprofit hospital system in New York City that comprised Beth Israel Medical Center, Roosevelt Hospital, St. Luke's Hospital, Long Island College Hospital, and The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary.

Continuum was acquired by Mount Sinai Medical Center to form Mount Sinai Health System in 2013; as part of this assimilation, the St.Luke's-Roosevelt merger was dissolved, and the two hospitals are now known separately as Mount Sinai St.Luke's and Mount Sinai Roosevelt.

More about Mount Sinai Roosevelt Hospital, Continuum Health Partners, and Mount Sinai Health System


Tell me about Albany Memorial Hospital.

In 1868, Albany Memorial Hospital opened as the Albany City Free Dispensary, providing healthcare for patients who were unable to pay. Over the next 82 years, the hospital had a total of five downtown Albany locations—including two on North Pearl Street. In 1957, Albany Memorial Hospital moved to its current location on Northern Boulevard. It is a 165-bed community hospital that offers a wide range of services, including critical care, ambulatory surgery, and award-winning programs for dedicated diabetes management and congestive heart failure. Staffed by board-certified emergency physicians, Albany Memorial’s expanded emergency department offers private rooms with state- of-the-art monitoring and is consistently recognized with high patient satisfaction scores.

On October 1, 2011, St. Peter’s Health Partners became the capital region’s largest and most comprehensive not-for-profit network of advanced medical care and senior services. These services and programs are provided through Albany Memorial Hospital and St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany; Samaritan Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital in Troy; Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital in Schenectady; The Eddy system of continuing care; and The Community Hospice.

More about Albany Memorial Hospital and St.Peter's Health Partners.


Tell me about Upstate Dermatology.

Upstate Dermatology

More about Upstate Dermatology.


Tell me about Castle Connolly Guides.

Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. is the research and information company nationally recognized for "America's Top Doctors." Located in New York City and founded in 1991 by a former medical college board chairman and its former president, Castle Connolly finds and names those who are believed to be representative of America's top doctors and the hospitals in which they practice. Its tagline is "America's trusted source for identifying top doctors." Castle Connolly's survey and research process, under a physician-led team, involves tens of thousands of doctors and the medical leadership of hospitals around the nation.

The evaluation process begins with the identification of a selected pool of board-certified physicians from the total number of doctors practicing in a given area. These randomly selected doctors receive letters inviting them to go online to a special website to enter nominations of other physicians whom they feel are clinically outstanding, both on the regional and national level. Each physician is asked to nominate other doctors in various specialties and sub-specialties. Nominations are sought not only for those who excel in academic medicine and research, but also those physicians who exhibit excellence in patient care.

Physicians selected for inclusion as a Castle Connolly "Top Doctor" may appear in one of Castle Connolly's national "top doctors" guides, such as America's Top Doctors or America's Top Doctors for Cancer, or in a regional top doctors guide, such as Top Doctors: New York Metro Area.

More about the Castle Connolly Guides.


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