What the American Board of Hair Restoration Should Mean…

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As the incoming President of the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery, I’m very proud of my affiliation with the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery of which I’m a diplomat. And also just recently took my 10 year recertification exam and passed that. I want to tell you what the examination of what the certification really means and what it really doesn’t mean. So a lot of times people use it as a badge of honor, which it should be used as such, but it doesn’t mean everything it does. So what it does mean is the doctor that’s been doing, it has been in practice at least five years has submitted high quality before and after results that have been graded and judged by his peers to be excellent, has also been able to pass a very rigorous oral and written exam where he understands book knowledge about hair, as well as how to all the dermatologic conditions that can make a hair transplant not safe to do.

And for me as an examiner, what I’m principally focused on for a candidate to pass the exam is whether that surgeon is a safe surgeon. So I just recently last weekend co-chaired and this next week, and I’ll be doing the same thing as co-chairing and advanced board review course for the candidates who were planning to take the test. And I thought about doing this podcast because what I told the candidates out there is the number one thing that will fail you if I’m an examiner for you is if you’re an unsafe surgeon. So what is an unsafe surgeon? I’m a surgeon who basically would be, for example, miss a dermatologic condition, which would be a contraindication or an indication not to do surgery. For example, if someone had frontal fibrosing alopecia and that person, and the doctors saw the photograph of this case and said, you know, I’m going to go do a 2000 grafts FUE case to transplant this, that person immediately fails because he should be able to recognize he or she should be able to recognize that is an FFA case that should not be transplanted.

Another case would be someone that comes in and this is a 20 year old gentleman, rapid losing hair, unstable hair loss, whatever it may be. And he wants to do a surgery that’s unethical and improper. So what the board certification means or the diplomat status, I should say means bypassing this board is that this doctor has completed number of years in practice, has submitted cases that have been peer reviewed, that has passed a rigorous examination, testing safety and breadth of knowledge, and being able to handle different clinical scenarios. What it doesn’t mean is that this doctor practices ethical medicine. What it doesn’t does not mean as his doctor actually has perfectly sound judgment and what it doesn’t mean as the doctor has an excellent team working for him or her. And it does not mean the doctor achieves excellent outcomes every time. So there’s a limitation in terms of what that certification means, but it also does mean quite a bit. There are only a couple of hundred in the world right now that I’ve passed this exam. So it does represent quite a bit, but I don’t want you to think it’s a blanket statement for guaranteed that the doctor is the best.


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