This is a huge win for the [American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS)][abcs]. It means that according to the State of California the ABCS has equivalent standing as any other specialty board like say the American Board of Plastic Surgery. It makes me wonder whether or not ABCS will sue the State to disallow boarded Plastic Surgeons from saying they are board-certified in Cosmetic Surgery?
> **Superior Court of California Orders Writ to Issue Directing Medical Board of California to Set Aside its Decision and Grant ABCS Application for Specialty Board Approval**
>The Superior Court of California, Honorable Jack Sapunor, granted the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery’s (ABCS) Petition for writ of mandate directing the Medical Board of California to grant ABCS’s application for specialty board approval. The Medical Board summarily denied ABCS’s Application on November 4, 2005.
> The Court recognized the Medical Board was required by its own regulations to approve a specialty board if the applicant board meets the requirements of section 1363.5 of title 16 of the California Code of Regulations. The regulations specify the criteria that the Medical Board will use to determine whether a certifying organization possesses requirements equivalent to those of the ABMS member boards. The regulations identify 19 specific requirements which must be met in order for a specialty board to be deemed “equivalent.” If a specialty board meets all 19 requirements, the Medical Board is required to approve a specialty board’s application.
> After considering the record, evidence, and submissions, the Court determined:
> **”ABCS produced substantial evidence establishing that it met, or exceeded, all of the regulatory requirements.** The Medical Board has neither produced any substantial evidence to the contrary, nor identified any regulatory requirement that ABCS failed to meet. Under the circumstances, the Court has determined that the Medical Board acted arbitrarily and capriciously in denying [ABCS’s] application for approval to be a specialty board in “Cosmetic Surgery.”
> (Emphasis added and citations omitted). Accordingly, the Court granted ABCS’s petition. As a result the Medical Board will be directed to set aside its decision and grant ABCS’s Application for specialty board approval. This will finally allow cosmetic surgeons who are board certified by the ABCS to advertise their certification.
> ABCS President, Robert Jackson, MD applauded the Court’s decision: “This Board has spent several years and taken every step to assure its certification requirements meet or exceed the requirements maintained by the American Board of Medical Specialties. The Court was apparently the first to actually review and consider ABCS’s certification requirements. The California Medical Board certainly did not. I believe, and hope, this decision, and the recognition that ABCS’s certification requirements meet or exceed those of other ABMS boards, will raise the bar for physicians seeking to perform cosmetic surgery. I believe, and hope, patients seeking cosmetic surgery will ask about, and look for, physicians certified by the ABCS. This can only lead to higher quality health care and greater patient safety.”