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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.



The certification process of the American Board of Laser Surgery consists of three overall steps, regardless of specialty:

  1. Application Form submission and acceptance
  2. The Written Examinations
  3. The Oral Specialty Examination

The Application Form can be downloaded from the Contact, Application and Payments page, and is used for all specialties. It is completed by typing in the required information into the expandable fields as shown, and it then can be conveniently emailed to us (it may also be typed and printed out, or hand written, and mailed to our Administrative Office).


We offer a short Trial Examination for all specialties. We invite you to take it and then email us at We will email you with your results.

Test Your Knowledge


Preparation and Sitting for the Written Examinations follows acceptance of the Application. The Board provides Study Materials containing the information required to sit for the Written Examinations, which are taken online on an open-book basis. The Study Materials and Written Examinations are customized to the certification the candidate is undertaking, whether traditional or for cosmetic laser practitioners. The minimum passing score is 80% of the possible points earned with correct answers. The Study Materials may be kept for future reference. Candidates may take up to one year maximum to review the Study Materials, prepare for and then sit for the Written Examinations. Once prepared, candidates contact us by email, and based on the request, we will either send the Written Examinations by email (as PDF files) to take using an Online Answer Form, or they may be printed out, completed by hand, and mailed back to us. By special request, we can send the examinations as a printed booklet by Priority Mail. Candidates will have five (5) full business days to complete the Written Examinations, following the day of receipt. Candidates who elect to take the Written Examinations by mail are responsible for paying the return postage.

The Oral Specialty Examination follows successful completion of the Written Examinations. It is designed to explore and evaluate the candidate's clinical experience. It does not revisit the topics covered in the Written Examinations. There is nothing to formally study for. The candidate will be asked to submit some additional information prior to the Oral Specialty Examination, including his/her previous education in laser use, examples of patient education materials, procedure flow sheets, a log of recent example procedures, and some before-and-after photos related to his/her specialty. The Oral Specialty Examination is most often administered via video web conference. Candidates may request an in-person examination, however are responsible for all travel expenses to meet with a Board examiner.

THE FEES FOR CERTIFICATION are as follows, with the total cost similar to many medical specialty boards. Unlike many boards, the Board’s fee structure is phased according to each step in the process in order to enhance convenience and affordability:

  • The application fee is $150, regardless of practice specialty. If an applicant is not accepted based upon his/her credentials, the application fee is refunded with the exception of a $50 review and administrative processing charge.
  • The fees for the Board’s Study Materials and the Written Examinations are as follows:
    • TRADITIONAL (NON-COSMETIC) LASER SURGERY AND MEDICINE: $750 US in one payment, or $900 US in four installments of $225 US each for the Four-part Option (please see section below on Four-part Option).
    • PHYSICIANS PERFORMING LASER AND LIGHT COSMETIC PROCEDURES: $895 US in one payment, or $1,100 US in four installments of $275 US each (please see section below on Four-part Option). This fee is somewhat higher as the cost of the study materials is higher to accommodate the several cosmetic specialties.
    • QUALIFIED NON-PHYSICIAN LASER AND LIGHT COSMETICS PRACTITIONERS: $750 US in one payment, or $900 US in four installments of $225 US each, if the Four-part Option is selected. Fee discounts are offered for practices where two or more candidates apply.

The appropriate fee for the Study Materials and Written Examinations is due WITHIN 30 DAYS following notification of acceptance of the Application, and prior to provision of the Study Materials. This fee covers formal notification of Application acceptance on ABLS letterhead, provision of the proprietary Study Materials, sitting for the Written Examinations, grading of the examinations, and formal notification of examination results on ABLS letterhead, and standard postage for shipping the Study Materials (USPS Priority Mail within the USA and Canada, and USPS Air Mail for all other overseas locations – express shipping is available for an additional fee, please see below). If a candidate fails the Written Examinations on the first attempt, the examinations may be retaken without prejudice any number of times until passed.

The retake fees are (within 6 months of not passing): $225 US for non-cosmetic physicians or for non-physician cosmetics practitioners; or $275 US for physicians performing cosmetic procedures. If retaken after 6 months, these fees are doubled.

Replacement copies of the Study Materials are available at the Board’s cost if necessary (please email the Board).

Candidates typically elect to take the full Written Examinations at one sitting, and must be taken WITHIN ONE YEAR from the date the Study Materials are received; however candidates are again encouraged to complete this as soon as their schedule allows. Candidates have five (5) full business days to complete the full Written Examinations following the day of receipt. This is the more cost-effective option.

The candidate may choose a Four-part Option for the Written Examinations, each part includes approximately one-fourth of the full Written Examinations and each part may only be taken with this option using an Online Answer Form. The candidate pays the first installment upon acceptance of the Application and receives the appropriate Study Materials. The first installment fee also includes the Part 1 Examination. Prior to taking each of the next three shorter examinations (Parts 2, 3 and 4), the candidate must remit the next installment fee. All four shorter examinations must be taken within one year from the date the Study Materials are received, however candidates are encouraged to complete these as soon as their schedule allows. Candidates have three (3) full business days to complete any one of the four shorter examinations, following the day of receipt of the examination. This option costs somewhat more as administrative time by the Board is greater, but also can allow the process to better fit busy schedules.

The fee for the Oral Specialty Examination is $750 US for the traditional laser surgery and medicine certification and for cosmetic laser and light physicians; it is $500 US for qualified non-physician cosmetics practitioners performing less invasive procedures.

This fee is due WITHIN 30 DAYS following notification of the successful completion of the Written Examinations. The Board asks candidates to sit for the Oral Specialty Examination WITHIN SIX (6) MONTHS of completion of the Written Examinations (with a maximum limit of 12 months except under special circumstances), which allows ample time for submission of the required advance materials by the candidate and scheduling of the examination. The Oral Specialty Examination fee also includes provision of the ABLS Certificates (two copies) and a formal letter to the new Diplomate, as well as standard shipping. Please note that additional copies, or replacement certificates, cost $50 US inclusive of shipping.

Express shipping is available for Study Materials and/or Certificates. The additional fee for express shipping within the United States, Canada, and Mexico is $50 US. The additional fee for all other overseas locations is $125 US. This can be remitted also on the Board's Payment page.

Payment of fees: FOR U.S. RESIDENT CANDIDATES, either online by major credit card via the Board's PayPal service, online by PayPal account directly, or by check mailed to our Administrative Office; FOR CANDIDATES RESIDING OUTSIDE OF THE U.S., either online by PayPal account directly, by check mailed to our Administrative Office, or by using another major money transfer service such as Western Union (note money transfer fees are the responsibility of the candidate). We cannot accept credit cards from non-U.S. residents. Checks written by non-U.S. resident candidates MUST be drawn on a bank with a major U.S. correspondent bank, and the date on the check MUST have the month written out (such as January 15, 2015, or 15 January, 2015).

Please go to the Contact, Application & Payment page for payment details. Credit card payments (U.S. residents only) and PayPal payments are through our secure PayPal account.

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

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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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