What is a real plastic surgeon in the United Kingdom?


You want to be treated by the best trained doctor with the right qualifications?

In many countries it is not always clear how you can find the right doctor.

The website https://realplasticsurgeon.eu helps you select REAL plastic surgeons.


Real plastic surgeons have studied Medicine to become a Medical Doctor (MBBS, MB BCh, MBChB).After getting that title they need additional training to become a Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon, generally after an exam andcompletion of a training programme. After graduating, they are registered as Plastic Surgeons on the Specialist Register of the General Medical Council (GMC).



In the UK, the training to become a doctor consists of:

  • 5-6 years undergraduate training in a medical school programme


  • 4 yearsgraduate entry medical school programme (after completion of a 3 – 4 year Bachelor degree)
  • Passing final medical school exams

If you pass the exam you can call yourself a doctor (MBBS, MB BCh, MBChB), you will now be registered with the GMC as a doctor and you get a GMC number. To practice medicine in the UK, you also need to hold a Licence to practice from the GMC.


Specialist Training

BUT in order to become a plastic surgeon you need additional specialist training.
This training consists of:

  • 2 years Foundation Year Training (provisional registration for the first year)
  • 2 yearsCore Surgical Training, passing the MRCS exam and obtaining a Certificate of Completion of Core Training
  • 6 years ofSpecialty Training as a Specialist Trainee in Plastic Surgery
  • Passing the FRCS (Plast) Intercollegiate Exam
  • There may be additional clinical and research years during this time as well

If you pass this programme, you are a plastic surgeon and you will receive a Certificate of Completion of Training and will be eligible for entry on the Specialist Register in Plastic Surgery. Only REAL plastic surgeons in the UKare eligible for specialist registration in plastic surgery with the GMC.


Continued Education

When you are an official plastic surgeon, your training does not stop.Most plastic surgeons do additional Fellowships and courses to learn more about specific areas of our specialty and gain expertise in their sub-specialty interests.

Possible directions are:

  • Aesthetic surgery
  • Microsurgery
  • Burns
  • Hand surgery
  • Breast reconstruction and oncoplasticsurgery
  • Head & neck reconstruction
  • Skin oncology
  • Cleft and craniofacial surgery
  • Orthoplastic surgery

Depending on the help you need you might want to verify whether your doctor has done additional training, besides fellowships.This can be by attending courses, symposia and congresses.



All European countries have National Societies who represent the Plastic Surgery community. Membership of such a Society is highly recommended for REAL plastic surgeons, you can verify this in the chart of the doctor on this website.

For the UK the National Societies are:

  • British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS)
  • British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS)

Membership of subspecialty societies show commitment to subspecialty areas of plastic surgery. Societies include (non-exhaustive list):

  • British Society for Surgery of the Hand (BSSH)
  • British Burns Association (BBA)

Membership of relevant European and International Societies shows additional Commitment to the area the plastic surgeon is most interested in. Relevant individual member Societies include (non-exhaustive list):

  • European Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ESAPS)
  • European Association of Plastic Surgeons (EURAPS)
  • Rhinoplasty Society
  • European Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (ESPRAS)
  • International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS)
  • American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS)
  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)


REAL Plastic Surgeons summary

REAL plastic surgeons have had a thorough training, passed an exam and are officially registered on the Specialist Register of the GMC in PLASTIC SURGERY. They are members of a National Society and relevant (sub-)specialty societies and continue to learn their entire life.