What do my cosmetic surgeon’s professional qualifications and memberships mean?

Looking for a cosmetic surgeon to perform your breast augmentation, facelift or other cosmetic procedure can be a very confusing and difficult process. Not least confusing is deciphering all the initials after a surgeon’s name and working out which of those are important.

Here is a breakdown of my qualifications and accreditations and what they mean:


This means Bachelor of Sciences and means that I have graduated from a science degree as well as my clinical studies.


MB BS stands for Bachelor of Medicine and means I have graduated from my five year medical degree. This is the minimum requirement necessary to practise as a doctor in the UK.


This stands for Doctor of Medicine, which is a research qualification, equivalent to a PhD in the non-medical world. This is a higher degree than an MB BS but is not necessary in order to practise medicine.

FRCS (Plast)

This means that I have passed all the exams necessary to become a fellow of the Royal Society of Surgeons, specialising in the field of plastic surgery.

If you are considering having cosmetic plastic surgery in this country, you should ensure that your surgeon is a fellow of the Royal Society of Surgeons at least, although a speciality in the field of plastic surgery is especially reassuring as it shows that s/he has trained specifically in plastic and reconstructive – if not cosmetic – surgery.

Professional association: BAAPS

BAAPS is the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, which is an independent self-regulatory body for the cosmetic surgery industry. There is very little official regulation of the industry, so associations like the BAAPS exist to try and promote good ethical practice and offer reassurance to patients.

If you are unsure about your surgeon’s qualifications, the best thing is to ask at the consultation stage, and don’t be afraid to walk away if s/he is unable to offer proof of their expertise.