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ABHRS - Good Intentions Need Effective Action

IAHRS accepted member and past president of the ABHRS, Scott Boden M.D. has a candid conversation with Spencer Kobren concerning the value of becoming a diplomate of the ABHRS as well the importance for the board to change its ideology and thinking to fit today’s times.

Scott Boden, MD: Let me just talk for a second about the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery. I really believe in this as not so much an educational organization, because I think that's really the role of the ISHRS and other forum, FORA. But the ABHRS really provides a standard for a physician to become a member of the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery, and there's a huge international component of doctors that want to have that credential. The American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery carries a lot of weight in India, if you're a ABHRS-credentialed doctor.

But to meet those credentials, those qualifications, you have to really demonstrate a, I'll say pretty vast, a knowledge base. You have to pass a qualifying examination. Oral examination. You have to demonstrate a case log of 100s of cases and provide photographs, before and after. So I think there's some value in having an international standard of excellence. And I really think the ABHRS does a great job. So I'm past president of the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery. I've been involved in the board for over ten years. I really think that if a patient is considering hair transplantation, they need to look for someone who has that credential.

If you're a diplomat of the ABHRS, it means you've at least met a certain standard and pretty high standard to get that sort of qualification. It's not, again, it aint, "I just bought a device. I can do it." It's a, "I've met a certain criteria whether I'm using a device or not using a device. This is, you know, I have the capability of doing excellent work."

Spencer Kobren: Well I want to say that I agree with that. And I was in talks, as you know, with the ABHRS to potentially help move things along. And again, I'm just seen in their mind as some marketing guy. They want a business proposal to work with and I'm like, look. That's the last thing you guys want. I want to be able to provide consumers with a minimal standard to look at. I don't want to market for you. I don't want to work for you. I want you guys to work with me so that we can get your message out there in a much bigger way.

You saw the back and forth. It didn't work out. And I understand that. But it's ... well, I don't understand it. But I understand the reasoning behind it, because A) ... please take this in the spirit that it's meant, you guys aren't necessarily entrepreneurs.

Scott Boden, MD: I take no offense. I'm really good at what I do and I think being an entrepreneur isn't the top of my skill set.

Spencer Kobren: And we all have different skill sets, and so there's also a certain level of ... There're ideological prejudices and misinformation about who I am and what I do. I believe that I could bring the ABHRS into the 21st century in a way that nobody else can.

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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.