How To Choose The Best Doctor

Choosing a doctor for the procedure you're interested in is like dating. You have to hold the same values, see eye to eye and be on the same page in terms of expectations. Word-of-mouth referrals are a good place to start, but the doctor you select needs to have the appropriate training and hold the right credentials.

Not every practicing doctor is equipped to do every single aesthetic treatment available, nor should they. You should only choose a board-certified doctor that really understands your concerns and can perform the right procedure for you. Use this quick guide below as a reference for who to see for which procedures.


Plastic Surgeons offer surgical and nonsurgical procedures for body, face and eyes.

EDUCATION: Four years of college, four years of medical school, a two or five year surgical residency in general surgery and an additional two to three year plastic surgery training residency. Plastic Surgeons need to pass both special oral and written board examinations.

WHAT TO KNOW: Plastic Surgeons can perform almost any aesthetic procedure and have extensive training and education. Look for a Plastic Surgeon who
is an active member of either (or both) the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) or the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)-- these societies keep their doctors up to date on everything new and important and hold members to strict guidelines and standards.

THE FACE SPECIALISTS (Facial Plastic Surgeons)

Facial Plastic Surgeons offer surgical and nonsurgical procedures for face and neck.

EDUCATION: Facial Plastic Surgeons complete four years of college and four years of medical school, followed by one year of general surgery training and four years of otolaryngology (head and neck) surgery training. Many board-certified Facial Plastic Surgeons go on to complete an additional year of training in plastic surgery of the face and neck.

WHAT TO KNOW: Facial Plastic Surgeons have a complete understanding of the face, both externally and internally. For functional problems, like a deviated septum that makes it hard to breathe, you may want to see one of these surgeons.

THE SKIN SAVERS (Dermatologists)

Dermatologists offer nonsurgical procedures relating to the skin, as well as skin cancer surgery.

EDUCATION: After four years of college and four years of general medical school, dermatologists complete three years of medical residency specializing in skin treatments and procedures. Cosmetic dermatologists undergo the same training, but put more of an emphasis on aesthetics in their practice. Dermatologic Surgeons complete a postgraduate fellowship, too.

WHAT TO KNOW: You'll want to see a dermatologist for any type of skin concern or prescription-strength skin medication, as well as for your annual skin checks.

THE EYE PROS (Oculoplastic Surgeons)

Oculoplastic Surgeons offer surgical and nonsurgical procedures relating to the eyes and surrounding areas.

EDUCATION: In addition to college and medical school, these doctors have completed a three year residency and two years of advanced fellowship
training in ophthalmic plastic, orbit and reconstructive surgery. Board certification by the American Board of Ophthalmology is required to complete fellowship training.

WHAT TO KNOW: These doctors are ophthalmologists (medical doctors and eye surgeons) who have had additional training in plastic surgery relating to
the eyes and adjacent areas.

THE VEIN ERASERS (Vein Specialists)

Vein Specialists offer treatments relating to veins and vein disorders

EDUCATION: These doctors complete four years of college and four years of medical school, followed by specialized residency training in all things veins.

WHAT TO KNOW: Vein Specialists are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of venous disorders.

THE SMILE FIXERS (Cosmetic Dentists)

Cosmetic Dentists offer procedures relating to the smile, including full-mouth reconstruction.

EDUCATION: Four years of college and four years of dental school. Cosmetic dentists also enroll in specialized training programs to further their education, as well as undergo training in cosmetic procedures.