Cosmetic Surgery Training Programs and Requirements

In cosmetic surgery programs, students learn how to medically treat patients and perform an array of aesthetic procedures through traditional coursework and clinical residencies.

Essential Information

Cosmetic surgeons complete aesthetic enhancements or maintenance procedures on the human body. These professionals gain their skills by completing Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accredited doctoral programs with specialties in areas like dermatology, general surgery, obstetrics or otolaryngology. 4-year Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) curriculum includes anatomy, biology, biochemistry, pathology, physiology and psychology. Students learn how to document medical histories and examine, diagnose and treat patients. Cosmetic surgery units discuss procedures such as abdominoplasties, facial implants, hair transplants, liposuction, rhinoplasties, scar revisions, skin resurfacing and soft tissue augmentations. Direct experience is acquired through clinical rotations and internships, fellowships and medical residencies, which can take 3-8 years to complete.

  • Program Fields: Medicine
  • Program Length: 4 years for a M.D., 3-8 years for residency completion
  • Other Requirements: Completion of a practicum to graduate

Continuing Education

Individuals must successfully pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) in order to practice medicine. In order to qualify for the USMLE, candidates must complete an accredited medical program and relevant internships and residencies. Those with specialties must be certified by the American Board of Medical Specialists (ABMS) in the given area. Voluntary professional certification in cosmetic surgery can be attained through the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS), which offers annual conferences, seminars, workshops and webinars for continuing education on developmental procedures and technologies.

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