You cannot rely on the state medical boards alone to guarantee that a surgeon you choose is specifically qualified for the procedures he advertises. The truth of the matter is there is no legal requirement for a surgeon to be specifically trained in a procedure he offers. The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery offers education, training and certification specifically for cosmetic surgeons. Look for a surgeon who is board certified for the best result.
Experience in your specific procedure
If you are considering having cosmetic work on your nose, it is a good idea to only consider rhinoplasty surgeons in Chicago who have good experience with the procedure. Different areas in cosmetic surgery require different skills and training, so the right doctor is one who has successfully performed a good number of procedures similar to what you want.
The operating facility
The anesthetist and operating facility both play a huge role in your safety during surgery. Ensure that that the operating room has key life support equipment in the unlikely event that something goes wrong during the surgery. You should also look into JCAHO, AAAHC or AAAASF certification for the operating facility.
It is also ideal if the surgeon understands and shares your aesthetic sensibilities. For liposuction surgery in Chicago for example, it is not only important that you loose the extra fat, but also that you look natural once you have healed completely. Ask to see before and after pictures of previous clients, specifically those who have similar body structures as yours. This should give you a good idea of the kind of result to expect.
Look for an emotional connection
This may not be an obvious consideration but keep in mind that you are likely to spend a lot of time with the cosmetic surgeon. This includes before, during and after the surgery. It is therefore to your benefit if you feel comfortable with the surgeon as well as his support team. It is also critical to your safety and well being that you are comfortable enough to share your full medical history and habits before surgery, no matter how minor.