Beyond MD: Why Credentials Are Important

By: Allan E. Wulc, MD March 1, 2017 Category: General

You know that an “MD” is a doctor, but what do all those other letters after your physician’s name mean? And are they actually important?

The answer is yes! And we’re here to help demystify why credentialing is important and how to identify and understand different titles you may see out there.

To practice medicine, your doctor needs to be granted a medical license. This license is granted by the state, and proves that the physician meets a minimum standard of competence to diagnose and treat patients. This, however, does not prove that a physician is specialized or skilled in a certain area. When looking for a cosmetic surgeon it’s important that you know for certain that your doctor has the experience and education to perform these complicated surgical procedures. While it’s vital that your surgeon be licensed by your state, many surgeons go beyond this minimum standard and achieve additional credentialing in their specialty

You’ll see some surgeons, like Dr. Wulc, who also hold the title “FACS”. This shows that he or she is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. The American College of Surgeons (ACS) is an education association that sets high standards for patient care and expertise. Fellowship with the ACS “means 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”. You can search for surgeons that have attained this distinction through the ACS’s online search tool here.

Another thing to look for is Board Certification. A Board Certified surgeon has voluntarily chosen to go beyond basic certification to gain deeper knowledge and experience in a surgical specialty. To become Board Certified, the surgeon must pass additional tests and exams administered by the Member Board in their specialty. And passing these rigorous tests is only the first step. To maintain certification, the surgeon must then continue to learn and take courses to keep up with the newest advances in his or her specialty. At W Cosmetic Surgery, Dr. Wulc is Board Certified in cosmetic and plastic surgery, ophthalmology, and oculoplastic surgery. This certification vouches for his experience and dedication to facial cosmetic surgery. You can read more about his certifications and memberships here.

You should never feel uncomfortable talking to your surgeon about their experience and certification. If you’re unsure about their background you are welcome to ask! A strong patient-surgeon relationship is built on trust, and it’s important that you feel comfortable getting the answers you need.

If you have questions or want to learn more about W Cosmetic Surgery, please call us at 484-685-5473.

Allan E. Wulc, MD

About the Author

Allan E. Wulc, MD is the lead surgeon at W Cosmetic Surgery and is Quadruple Board Certified with over 25 years experience in cosmetic and plastic surgery. Dr. Wulc is a leader in his field and pioneer of new surgical techniques. His work has been featured in lectures, presentations, and publications worldwide. Find out more about Dr. Wulc.