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The American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery

By Dr. Matt Leavitt, Vice President of the ABHRS

The American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery is the only board certification focusing on hair restoration surgery.  The goals and objectives of the ABHRS are to act for the benefit of the public to establish specialty standards and to examine surgeons’ skill, knowledge and aesthetic judgment in the field of hair restoration.  The board will grant certification to candidates who meet the highest standards of the medical profession in the field of hair restoration surgery.

Led by President Dr. Shelly Friedman, Vice President Dr. Matt Leavitt, Secretary Dr. James Arnold, and Treasurer Dr. Carlos Puig, the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery was founded in 1996 by fourteen individuals whose medical practice included hair restoration surgery.  The group met to study the need for the creation of a certifying board and to establish the qualifications to sit for a board exam in hair restoration surgery.  The group agreed to establish an American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery which would conduct examinations for the certification of specialists in hair restoration surgery.

In December of 1996, the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery was incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois.  During the following months, the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery identified candidate credential requirements and with the direction of an independent psychometric evaluator formed the initial examination to be administered in December, 1997.

The operation of the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery is entrusted to a fifteen-member Board of Directors.  The Directors are members of one of the following named societies:

ISHRS International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery
ASHRS American Society of Hair Restoration Surgery
WAHRS World Association of Hair Restoration Surgeons
AAFPRS American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Certification of a Diplomat requires demonstration of training, evidence of post-training experience, and successful completion of written and oral examinations on the entire scope of the specialty.

Upon inquiry, the board will verify the status of any Diplomat as a Diplomat in good standing (or not in good standing).

The requirements for board certification are:

  • Acceptable ethical and moral standing in the profession, as attested by letters of recommendation described subsequently in these requirements, and by review of other data pertaining to such standing as may be requested by the Board.
  • Graduation from a medical school recognized and accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education or the American Osteopathic Association.
  • Evidence of a current, valid license from the appropriate authority enabling the individual to practice medicine independently in the location of the individual’s practice.
  • To ensure the quality of patient care, the candidate shall include documentation of his/her practice of hair restoration surgery and any other specialty for which he/she is educationally qualified.

An applicant for certification must:

  • Have five years of experience in private practice in hair restoration surgery, as evidenced by appropriate case logs, indication number and type of hair restoration surgery procedures performed during said five year period, or
  • Have satisfactorily completed a minimum of 100 hair restoration surgery cases in a one year hair restoration surgery Fellowship recognized by one of the following four societies in hair restoration surgery, plus one year experience in private practice with a minimum of 100 hair restoration surgery cases per year:
    • ISHRS, ASHRS, WAHRS, AAFPRS (see above)
  • An applicant for certification must have 100 documented Operative Reports of which five are complete and include before and after photos with full case reports that demonstrate satisfactory results.
  • An applicant for certification must be performing a current rate of 100 procedures per year as documented by appropriate case logs.

The certification examination is comprehensive, covering the biological sciences and clinical practice of hair restoration surgery.

A candidate must pass both the written examination and the oral examination in order to become Board Certified.  The written component contains multiple-choice test items.  The written examination measures knowledge of facts, concepts, principles and procedures and the application of knowledge to simulated situations for testing problem solving and critical thinking.  The oral component contains oral protocols.  The oral examination measures simulated clinical problem solving.

The American Board of Hair Restoration hopes to improve the quality of patient care by providing patients with an objective way to determine the qualifications of any physician practicing hair restoration.  Ask your physician if they are certified by the ABHRS.

Dr. Matt Leavitt
Vice President, ABHRS
Chairman WAHRS
Founder and Medical Director, Medical Hair Restoration

American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery at The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery
(708) 474-2600, or write:

18525 So. Torrence Ave.
Lansing, Illinois 60438


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