Board certification shows that a plastic surgeon is qualified, knowledgeable, and educated in performing cosmetic and/or reconstructive surgical procedures. Contrary to popular belief, any licensed medical doctor can legally perform plastic surgery. If you are seeking plastic surgery, it’s important to know whether the doctor you have chosen is capable of providing a safe and effective procedure.

Both Dr. Picerno and Dr. Cote are certified through the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS). To earn certification from ABFPRS, doctors must meet the following criteria:

  • Complete an approved residency program
  • Earn prior certification through the American Board of Otolaryngology or American Board of Plastic Surgery
  • Practice for at least two years
  • Have 100 operative reports which have been accepted by a peer-reviewed committee
  • Pass an 8-hour written and oral examination
  • Operate in an accredited facility
  • Hold licensure and adhere to ABFPRS Code of ethics

Doctors with board certifications in other specialties may also perform cosmetic procedures related to their specialties. For example, otolaryngologists may perform nose, hair transplant, or facial plastic surgery. Similarly, ophthalmologists may perform eyelid surgery, and dermatologists may perform laser skin surgery or liposuction.

After a plastic surgeon has become board certified, they must continue to recertify as long as they are practicing. This includes ongoing education as well as assessment throughout their career.

What is a double-board certification?

Double-board certification means that a surgeon has been certified in multiple specialties or by multiple boards. Depending on the doctor’s specific training and practice, this may mean a board certification in both general surgery and plastic surgery, otolaryngology and plastic surgery, plastic surgery and facial plastic surgery, etc.

Both Dr. Picerno and Dr. Cote are double-board certified in otolaryngology and facial plastic surgery.

What is a fellowship?

A fellowship is a period of training that a physician may undergo after they have completed specialty training. During fellowship training, they will act as an Attending Physician or Consultant Physician. A fellowship allows for further training in a subspecialty under the scrutiny of established and experienced physicians.

Dr. Cote completed a fellowship in facial plastic surgery at Johns Hopkins University Hospital.

Choosing the best plastic surgeon

In addition to reviewing before-and-after pictures and reading testimonials, understanding a plastic surgeon’s certification, education, and experience is the best way to ensure that you will receive adequate care and results from your procedure. Choosing a board, double-board, or fellowship trained plastic surgeon is an important factor in ensuring you have the best possible cosmetic surgery procedure.

About Dr. Cote

Dr. Christopher Cote received a medical degree from Tufts University and completed a surgical internship and residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and National Naval Medical Center. He is also fellowship trained in facial plastic surgery through Johns Hopkins University Hospital. Dr. Cote holds the following certifications:

  • Board-Certified Otolaryngologist – Head and Neck Surgeon by the American Board of Otolaryngology
  • Board of Certified Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon by the American Board of Facial and Reconstructive Surgery
  • American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
  • American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

About Dr. Picerno

Dr. Nicolette Picerno is a double-board certified facial plastic and head and neck cosmetic surgeon. Dr. Picerno received a medical degree from Hahnemann University’s School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA, where she was a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. She then completed a surgery residency and internship at the Medical College of Georgia and a fellowship for the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive surgery at the Beeson Aesthetic Surgery Institute. Dr. Picerno holds the following certifications:

  • American Medical Association
  • American Academy of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery
  • American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery
  • Real Self Verified Doctor