Coaching and Mentoring Today’s Hair Transplant Surgeons

The IAHRS and The American Hair Loss Association advocate mentoring at all stages of a hair transplant surgeon's education and throughout their career, however, due to the the entrepreneurial and extremely competitive environment created by many of the old guard of this speciality, true mentoring has not been a priority in the field, IAHRS accepted member Patrick Mwamba, M.D. joins Spencer Kobren in studio to discuss.

Patrick Mwamba, MD: I do believe, like today, in our field, we need proper training. Especially for the young because hair transplant, it's so complex. In terms like you have medical part where you have to go through all this medical therapy, Propecia or Minoxidil. And how does it work, and how does it help? Then you have the technical part. Surgery. Should I do strips, should I do FUE? How the donor management. What should I do?

I think the big problem today, even in our society, when you go to the meeting, it's like a show-off. People are coming once a year, maybe twice a year for the majority. They see all the expert in the field talking about their experience and telling them like "this is how we do. Now try to copy us." But how can we assure that everybody that is coming, we're helping them to get to that point, and that is ... we don't offer that.

I think that's one of the big weakness of our society. It's how we train, because we usually give a lecture or training, workshop of one day, two days. Where usually when the people come, they look at the expert, and then they try to go in their own office and mimic.

Spencer Kobren: Well, and that's actually extremely important and very well said. I was talking to Dr. Dan Danyo about this earlier today. What I've been wanting to do for a long time, through the ISHRS, and maybe with the help of FUE Europe, is really create a strong mentoring program for young physicians.

When I brought up the concept, it was always like, that's gonna be very political. The ISHRS isn't gonna like it. You start training people, this that and the other thing. I'm not training anybody. I'm just facilitating it. You're the doctors. You know, I'm just helping to make it happen because the ISHRS is not doing that.

So what are your thoughts on something like that? You know, just clearing ... Like a real mentorship.

Patrick Mwamba, MD: I think we have to do that. Of course, maybe I will say ISHRS because of what they have to do, they cannot maybe have the time to allocate to that. But we have to have either groups that can do that, or go through university. I don't know. But we have to have that mentorship.

And then, that can be backed up by ISHRS and all the FUE Europe. Say now-

Spencer Kobren: You still have to-

Patrick Mwamba, MD: You still have to be a member of our group. We wanna make sure like you went through the process. You know, the ABHRS at the beginning was going a little bit in that route. And then, for some reason, I feel like they're just stuck in the middle. The head of mentorship program, whether you had to do I think I'd believing at two years with a coach, but, it just fade.

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The International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons is a consumer organization that selectively screens skilled and ethical hair transplant surgeons. The IAHRS does not offer an open membership policy to doctors practicing hair transplatation, and is the only group that recognizes that all surgeons are not equal in their skill and technique. Its elite membership seeks to represent the best in the discipline, the true leaders in the field of surgical hair restoration.