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hair transplant

Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by vent, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. vent

    vent Member
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    Hey everyone.

    has anybody heard about hair translant training and jobs. I have heard that there is even Board certfication for it? The money they make even higher than ortho or plastics with lifestyle....

    Is this a serious specialty now or just a BS.?
     
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  3. berkeleyboy

    berkeleyboy Senior Member
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    From my understanding, hair transplantation is completely a cosmetic procedure and since cosmetic procedures only require an MD, and not necessarily do you have to be a plastic/recontructive/dermatologist.

    Hair transplantation training is done by mentorship and as of today there are no official hair transplanation fellowships. Basically anyone with an MD/DO can do hair transplants if they feel comfortable doing them- I believe its just a matter of learning the procedure from another HT doc who's willing to train you.
     
  4. NewHope

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    I see these comercials a lot. And the guy who is an MD claims that he selects his docs from 100s of board sertified derms and surgeons. Basically, it's cash only, so it may not be overregulated like other specialties where you're forced to practice defensive medicine. But the down side is like in any real business be prepaired to deal with some unhappy campers. My guess is you'll need as much legal protection, consents, expectations and so on outlined. We live in the society where lots of folks have lost any connection to the reality, and think that they are entiled to a certain Tx, or to look a certain way.

    Good Luck
     
  5. Jonath00

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    Most Follicular transplant surgeons have completed at least prelim surgery or are board certified Surgeons. The most famous ones, like Dr. Bernstein in NYC, are very accomplished Hair transplant specialists. I believe Bernstein, after completing MD, completed a residency in General Surgery and then a fellowship in Cosmetic Surgery. He has invented and refined many trechniques currently used for Follicular transplants and has a multi-million dollar grant to study follicular cloning.
     
  6. vent

    vent Member
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    Thanks gusy for replies

    As far as I understand this area is not seriously considerated at all by medical specialties. Howeer what you guys think the future will be? As anybody can do these procedure (w/o a board certification) do you think this will stay this way long or some authorities will eventually require some sort of specific training and boarding for it?
     
  7. DocKnock

    DocKnock Retired-2-Rest-4-Life

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    Luckily for mine, all roots are intact and growing profusely both in pigment and strength... no specialty transplant needed. :D
     
  8. billydoc

    billydoc Senior Member
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    Yeah, you are really lucky. I don't look much different than my avatar :laugh:
     
  9. Jonath00

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    You definitely need to do some surgical training. The scalp incision and subsequent suturing, to take out the grafts, is a methodical procedure that requires a lot of practice. The grafting itself is complicated and many different techniques (punch-hole, slit, etc) and instruments are available. The field is growing rapidly and the future is defnitely very bright. The payscale is excellent and lifestyle is great.. you actually DO get to use the money you make :)

    If you are interested, then go for it. Talk to a general surgeon first.
     
  10. sistermike

    sistermike Senior Member
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    I am not a resident nor a med student (I am still finishing up my undergrad); however, I do have some first hand experience with hair transplant. I had a consultation last November with a very successful hair transplant surgeon here in town (he is actually the only physician in our city that performs hair transplants). He is much older (late 50's early 60's I presume) and practiced as a general surgeon for most of his life before turning to the hair transplant business approximately 13 years ago.

    His practices are EXTREMELY successful. He has two different office locations and divides his time between the two. He charges $5 per hair graft, which is pretty pricey considering most men who have hair transplants receive on the average of 1500 - 2000 hair grafts. Men who are more than half bald usually receive a lot more than 2000 hair grafts. Men who are completely bald can receive up to 8000 - 10,000 hair grafts. He does work on a cash-only basis; however, he does offer a few incentives to lower the cost.

    He is also into the low-laser light therapy and charges $2000 for a year worth of laser (you do two 30-minute sessions a week).

    He is definitely banking off of his practice, but his hair transplant work is phenomenal and he of course has a monopoly in our city.
     
  11. prominence

    prominence Senior Member
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    what does he use laser light therapy for?
     
  12. vent

    vent Member
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    Well I checked Dr.Bernstien's who is in NY. He even does not have a surgical training, just IM then Derm. (not derm surgery).

    Anyway, I was also doing some inquiries to one of the docs who is in a system, he is actually employed by one major Hair translplantion office chain, which offers training too, then places all graduates natiowide. He told me that salary range they offer is 150-650 000, depends how many surgeries you do, upper limits can be higher.....

    FOr example, a fresh GS graduate usually offered 180-220000 (if he is lucky)+nightcalls and "nice lifestyle"

    Funny is not it?
     
  13. sistermike

    sistermike Senior Member
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    I tried it but stopped after one treatment because I thought it was a crock. Here is a link to something similar he used on me (same concept though): http://www.lasercomb.net/LowLevelLaser.aspx

    It is a laser that basically uses "photo energy" to help promote hair growth. I asked him to explain the process of how it promotes growth and he gave me this answer: "... it promotes the synthesis of cell proteins and cell regeneration ..." I personally think its a business gimmick and after doing some research, I found that its really not a successful tool. He has only been using this LLLT therapy for a few years and I asked him how many of his patients have signed up for it and he said that he has somewhere around 300 patients. 300 x $2000 -- you can see why he is trying to push this therapy.

    Other than pushing that crock of a therapy, he was an excellent doctor.
     
  14. sistermike

    sistermike Senior Member
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    One other thing -- in regards to the question about a hair surgeons income. I spoke a long time with my doc and he was telling me about all of these business ventures he was doing, such as he was a major investor for a new kind of vodka labled, "Vegas Vodka".

    Anyways, I asked him how many surgeries he did a week and he said he averages 7-9 surgeries a week and each surgery averages approxmately 1500-2000 hair grafts. So if you figure average 1700 grafts x $5 = $8500. Multiply that by 7 and you have nearly $60,000 a week (not including LLLT therapy or Propecia that he sells out of his office and is marked up). I figured his office is pulling in at least 2.5 million a year (that is being pretty conservative on my numbers) but he does have 2 offices and like 15 assistants.
     
  15. vent

    vent Member
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    Well the clear income after all overheads (taxes etc) may still come about 500 000. A lot for vitually doing nothing, no calls, week-ends, pt diyng, no sweating at M&Ms.....
     
  16. vent

    vent Member
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    Yeah actually you dont get to money you DONT make :)
     
  17. daelroy

    daelroy Senior Member
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    This is not true at all. If you do a general search, the majority of hair transplant surgeons include dermatologists and primary care physicians that completed a 1-2 year course or "fellowship" in hair transplant. I would know because the hair transplant surgeon I shadowed is a family medicine doctor. I do agree that having a surgical background would give one an edge in training for this field but it's strictly not required. Furthermore, the grafting is done alongside the physician by surgery techs who have received minimal training in this field. A similar situation is surgical "cosmetic fellowships". These arose in the 90's due to the overwhelming demand for cosmetic surgery and the limited number of Plastic and Reconstructive surgery fellowships. In the past, if you failed to match into a formal PRS fellowship, you had no other avenue to pursue additional cosmetic training. These days, any general surgeon can pay money and sign up for one of these 1 year cosmetic fellowships and then hang a shingle as a cosmetic surgeon. The general public can't distinguish between between a "Plastic surgeon" and a "Cosmetic Surgeon". Likewise, any physician can sign up for one of these hair transplant fellowships.

    So why is everyone not jumping at the chance to become hair transplant surgeons? There are many reasons

    1. It's difficult to acquire a consistent patient base. These procedures target men. Most men are unwilling to spend 5-10K just to get hair as opposed to a women who will easily drop 3-6K to have her breasts done.

    2. You have to set up your own practice. There is considerable risk setting up your own practice and paying the necessary fees to market yourself. You have to pay for the equipment and hire the necessary technicians to assist you in addition to the office staff etc. You also have to pay a considerable amount in malpractice because it's very easy for a customer to sue you because he or she wasn't "satisfied' with their procedure.

    3. Reputation: sorry but there is a stigma associated with hair transplant surgeons since there is no formal fellowship and anyone can pursue this training regardless of qualifications ie family medicine doctor can do a year fellowship and refer to himself as a hair transplant surgeon

    4. The procedure doesn't work that well for everyone. It's ideal for people with thinning hair as opposed to purely bald men. It's just not possible to replace an entire bald scalp with hair.

    5. Other Avenues: If I'm a general surgery graduate and I could either
    A.) Pursue a 1 year cosmetic surgery fellowship and do breasts, noses and tummys in a year or
    B.) Take a huge risk and purse a hair transplant fellowship hoping he can get enough clients to sustain a business

    Sorry but general surgeons will choose A every time. It's more glamorous to perform cosmetic surgery and it's a much safer market. This is why the majority of hair transplant surgeons are not formally trained in surgery. The money sounds great but there is a considerable amount of risk that is involved. I know some that entered the field and eventually had to go back to practicing primary care because they couldn't meet expenses.
     

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