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The American Board of Laser Surgery

was founded to promote the safe and efficacious use of
lasers and light in medicine and surgery by establishing
standards of acceptable levels of knowledge and competence
through certifying examinations for medical professionals.


Background:The Board was incorporated in 1984 by nineteen recognized experts in clinical applications of lasers, laser research and development, and basic laser science and safety. Leading-edge study materials and certifying examinations were developed. The Board administered its first certifying examination at Tulane University in New Orleans in 1985. Currently the Board has certified over 500 Diplomates around the world. The Board's Diplomate Certificate is highly valued by practitioners, their patients, insurers, credentialing committees, health-care institutions, and colleagues.
(ABLS En Español)


Take Our Short Trial Examination and Test Your Knowledge: The Board has developed a short, 10-question trial examination to help you assess your current knowledge. Questions are drawn from actual examinations and include laser tissue interaction, biophysics, safety, and cosmetic applications (for those practitioners). Use the link below to take the trial examination and then email us at We will email you the results. 80% or better demonstrates solid knowledge. The examination takes just several minutes.

Test Your Knowledge


New Visitors: Please View Brief Introduction about the Board

New Testimonials

The Board Offers four Certification Programs:

  1. The Board's traditional certification in Laser Surgery and Medicine: for all specialties, other than cosmetic laser procedures or laser dentistry, and which has been offered since 1985. Please visit our Certifications page for details.
  2. The Board’s certification in Cosmetic Laser and Light Procedures: This covers the fundamental laser science, biophysics, light-tissue interaction, and laser safety of the traditional certification AND also includes a substantial body of materials related to cosmetic laser and light procedures. The Board offers this recognizing the rapid growth in cosmetic laser ans light procedures and the needs of our candidates. Major areas of cosmetic procedures include ablative skin resurfacing, vascular lesions, leg veins, pigmented lesions and tattoos, scars, hair removal, non-ablative resurfacing and skin rejuvenation, photodynamic therapy (PDT), non-surgical skin tightening, and the science of IPL and LED procedures. The Board also accepts qualified, medically supervised non-physician practitioners for select, less-ablative procedures. Please visit our Cosmetics page for details.
  3. The Certificate of Added Qualification in Cosmetic Laser Procedures: The Board is pleased to offer a Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ) for ABLS Diplomates practicing Cosmetic Laser and Light Procedures, and who meet several additional criteria. This CAQ provides Diplomates a credential that documents further experience and training, and gains additional recognition from the Board, as well as patients and colleagues. Please visit our CAQ page for details.
  4. NEW Certification in Laser Dentistry: This is now available for DMDs and DDSs. Please visit our Dentistry page for details.

Our Certification: Beneficial to Have and Convenient to Earn: Earning the certification from the American Board of Laser Surgery provides a valuable learning experience, and promotes efficacy of treatment, patient safety and helps attract new patients. We are the only medical specialty board worldwide devoted to the use of lasers and light in surgery and medicine. We recognize that today's competitive market provides challenges for many laser and light practitioners.

We offer a pay-as-you-go option for preparing for and taking the Written Examination. Candidates may either take the written examination in one sitting OR complete the written examination through a series of four steps that accommodates busy schedules, and provides for fees that are phased to each step. The Oral Specialty Examination follows successful completion of the written examination. Our Application Fee is very reasonable and our fee structure avoids the large upfront costs that most boards require. Please see our Certifications page for complete details.

How the Certification Process Works
Submit an Application

Join the ABLS Email List Serve!  It's Free!

A unique opportunity to connect with other laser practitioners. Exchange information on the latest equipment and techniques, and other topics of value to your practice.

Edward M. Zimmerman, MD President and Acting Treasurer Shalini Kapoor, M.D., C.M., Board Secretary
Dianne Quibell, MD Vice President Warren B. Seiler III, MD Executive Director
Pranav Pancholi, MD, Africa Masahiro Seki, D.V.M., Japan
Jin Wang Kim, MD, PhD, Asia Philippe C. Cadic, MD, Europe
Herbert M. Wagner, MD, South America Hanan A. Alokaily, MD, Middle East
John Flynn, MD, MBBS, Australia  
Aronoff, Billie L., MD Fisher, John C., ScD Mirhoseini, Mahmood, MD
Cayton, Mary M., RN Friedman, Eugene, MD Sacknoff, Eric J., MD
Cerullo, Leonard, MD Jako, Geza, MD Shapshay, Stanley M., MD
Choy, Daniel S.J., MD L'Esperance, Francis A., MD Stellar, Stanley, MD
David, Lawrence M., MD LeJeune, Francis E., MD Whipple, Terry L., MD
Dwyer, Richard M., MD Lobraico, Rocco, MD Wright, V. Cecil, MD
  McLaughlin, David S., MD  

Contact ABLS


Edward M. Zimmerman, MD, President
American Board of Laser Surgery, Inc.
Administrative Office
55 Corporate Drive, 3rd Floor
Trumbull, CT 06611
Phone: 203-332-2507

Click here to view our Privacy Policy, Disclaimer and Use of Name & Logo (PDF).

If you need to contact us by telephone, you may leave a message at our Administrative Office number and we will contact you — please leave your phone number and email address; if you need to speak to a Board Officer as soon as possible, please call Dr. Ed Zimmerman at 702-360-6686 at his Las Vegas office.


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“It was a learning experience going through the ABLS structured exams. Starting from the basic scientific concepts of lasers to the high-end usage of lasers and future concepts, these are discussed in the study materials provided. I had taken the written examinations step-by-step so as to have ample time to understand the theory in between the clinical practice information.

The oral examination was also simplified through the online video conferencing, and a wide array of my clinical practice and experiences were discussed. This gave me an insight into further enhancing my practice guidelines.

I wish to thank the Board for enrolling me and providing me the necessary knowledge in this field.”

Thanks and regards,

Dr James Z., M.D.

"I wanted to extend my deep appreciation to the ABLS. All of the stages of the ABLS process have been passed very smoothly. I found the laser physics and tissue interaction chapters challenging and the study material very informative. The written examination was also very challenging and the required scores were high even with the open book facility, so it ensures that the ABLS certificate holders are very qualified.

I truly enjoyed the oral examination, and it was conducted in a friendly and professional manner. The ABLS certification is an excellent experience and I surely will recommend it to my colleagues."

Best Wishes,

Dr. Nancy L.

"I would never rely on treatment parameters supplied by the company (when buying a new laser). Their settings are called, in the industry, ‘Safe Start’ protocols. Typically safe for the laser not to burn … but minimally clinically effective. My advice would be to understand fundamentals of laser physics and learn the practice the way medicine has always been learned. Medicine is an apprenticeship. One learns from other physicians, medical schools, and professional scientific meetings, etc. Thanks to modern advances, some of this can be achieved through online learning. The ABLS List Serve forum is a good example …. I find the idea of walking into a physician’s office and selling them a laser to start using the following week appalling, if such physician has no training in laser physics …"

Dr. Clement B.
Maryland, USA