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We are the only medical specialty board worldwide devoted to advanced education in the biophysics of lasers and light in surgery, medicine and aesthetics to improve understanding and competency. The ABLS® Certification provides a valuable learning experience, promotes treatment efficacy and patient safety, and helps attract new patients.
We are laser-focused on the full spectrum of light education for all practitioners.

NEW: The ABLS Now Offers up to 28 CME Hours – Click EARN CME below to learn more.

American Board of Laser Surgery, Inc. (ABLS)

Course Description:

Laser surgery and procedures in medicine are not taught in most medical schools or residencies. A specific license to operate lasers is not required in most states. As a result, physicians use lasers often without sufficient education in how these work in terms of several important biophysical processes. The desire of the ABLS is to thoroughly and didactically educate laser practitioners, and then test that understanding. The ABLS Online Examinations will show that the gap has been addressed across the critical areas of understanding of fundamental laser science and laser safety. This course is intended for Physicians, PAs, NPs and RNs who use lasers in various medical procedures. Only physicians can be awarded AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ while non-physicians can be credited for the hours or participation in the online course and written exams.

The ABLS Study Guide is a comprehensive 175-page publication that covers the important areas of 1) fundamental laser science, 2) how laser beams are delivered to the target, 3) the biophysics and tissue interaction of how they work, 4) ethics in using these instruments, 5) laser safety for the operating room, and 6) equipment selection principles.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of the course materials and online examination, the learner should be better prepared to:

  • Recognize the fundamental science of how medical lasers work and laser light energy is delivered to tissue.
  • Identify the four major biophysical processes by how medical lasers interact with living tissue.
  • Select the type of laser for a given procedure based on the absorption of laser light by living tissue.
  • Apply safe use of different classes of lasers in a treatment room.
  • Utilize principles of selection for laser equipment.

Credit Statement / Credits Available:

  • ACCME logoACCREDITATION: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of Southern Medical Association and The American Board of Laser Surgery, Inc. The Southern Medical Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
  • CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDIT — PHYSICIANS: Southern Medical Association designates this Enduring Material activity for a maximum of 28 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in this activity.
  • CERTIFICATE OF ATTENDANCE — NON-PHYSICIANS: All non-physician participants will receive a certificate of participation.

For any questions, please contact The ABLS at

Course Origination / Expiration Date:

Content Last Updated: July 31, 2018
CME Release Date: November 1, 2019
Content to Be Reviewed and Updated as Needed: by September 1, 2023
Valid for credit through: November 1, 2024

Instructions on How to Complete the Course and Obtain Credit:

  • ATTENDEE REQUIREMENTS: At the conclusion of participating in this activity, learners are entitled to a Certificate of Credit from the SMA, as well as a Certificate of Course Completion from the ABLS. Successful completion of this activity is determined by reading/studying the materials provided, passing the online examinations, and submission of the course evaluation and participation attestation statement.
  • SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR CREDIT: This course is designed to be completed within the time designated, one year or less from the receipt of the ABLS Study Guide. Learners should claim only those credits that reflect the time actually spent in the activity. To successfully earn credit, participants must complete the activity online during the valid credit period noted, following these steps:
    • Read the goals and objectives, accreditation information, and author disclosures.
    • Study the educational content and references (ABLS Study Guide).
    • Take the ABLS Online Examinations, choosing the best answer(s) to each test question. To receive credit and a certificate, you must receive a passing score of 80.0%.
    • Complete the Post-Course Evaluation.
    • Submit an Attestation of actual hours spent on the course activities (study preparation and online exams).
    • Upon completion of the Post-Course Evaluation and Attestation, your Certificate of Credit from the SMA will be processed and emailed. Credits will be archived for 6 years; at any point within this time period you may contact Southern Medical Association for a duplicate copy of your credits. Note the ABLS Certificate of Course Completion will be downloadable with successful completion of the online examinations.

Post-Course Evaluation:

All educational activities must be formally evaluated by attendees following the activity. A copy of the evaluation summary of responses, completed by the learner(s), will be provided to the SMA.

Disclosures of Conflicts of Interest:

Southern Medical Association (SMA) requires instructors, planners, managers, and all other individuals who are in a position to control the content of this activity to disclose conflicts of interest (COI) with ineligible entities within the last 24 months of the development of this activity. All identified COIs are thoroughly vetted and mitigated prior to the release of the activity. SMA is committed to providing its learners with high quality activities and related materials that promote improvements or quality in healthcare and not a specific proprietary business interest of a commercial interest.

ABLS Study Guide and Examination Authors:
  • Dr. Edward M. Zimmerman – Certified Cosmetic and Laser Surgeon
  • Dr. Warren B. Seiler III – Certified Cosmetic and Laser Surgeon
  • Dr. Dianne Quibell – Certified Cosmetic and Laser Surgeon
  • Dr. Peter Vitruk (PhD) – Expert in Laser Science, Biophysics and Equipment
  • Dr. James L. Cromwell – Certified Cosmetic and Laser Surgeon
  • Dr. Michael Swick – Certified Dental and Laser Surgeon
  • Dr. Maged M. A. Rizkallah – Certified Cosmetic and Laser Surgeon
  • Dr. John C. Fisher (ScD, deceased) – Expert in Laser Science, Biophysics and Equipment
Disclosure Statement:

The content of the CME certified activity, "The ABLS Certificatw of Course Completion in Laser Science and Safety: Study Preparation and Sitting for the Online Written Examinations" does not relate to products or services of an ACCME defined commercial interest.

The authors and planners have no relevant financial relationships to disclose related to the content of this activity.

Training Release, Assumption of Risk and Indemnification:

In consideration of the education provided by The American Board of Laser Surgery, I do hereby release, waive, discharge and agree not to sue and agree to hold the ABLS and the SMA harmless from any and all claims, demands and actions that I may have arising in any way out of the education materials and examinations. This includes the time while I am participating in the course, and the time after the course is completed. In order to qualify for this education, I testify and agree to the following:

  1. I am licensed as a physician (MD, DO, etc.) to practice medicine (or) I am a licensed non-physician health care provider (PA, NP, RN, aesthetician, other).
  2. I maintain adequate insurance for my practice, and facilities (as applicable).
  3. I am legally allowed to perform the procedures for which I am receiving this education, in my own state, or country (according to its applicable laws).
  4. It is my responsibility to know the laws and requirements of any applicable licensing agencies (including state, federal or local, or applicable country) and whether this education is recognized by any such agencies.
  5. If I am a non-physician, I have a responsible medical director who is also educated and licensed to perform and supervise the procedures for which I am receiving this education.
  6. I understand that this education does not guarantee my competency in the procedures covered; and I agree that this education alone is not sufficient exclusively for me to treat patients.
  7. I accept responsibility for any and all treatments I provide to patients during the educational period, and afterward as I continue to practice.
  8. It is my responsibility to properly consult (including intake/history), consent, and treat the patients I treat during the educational activity, and afterwards. Further, I acknowledge that the education contemplated by this agreement is only one part of the necessary study and training to allow me to safely and effectively treat patients. It is solely my responsibility to ensure that I am prepared and qualified to treat patients. I assume all risk in treating patients, and hold the ABLS, and its board members, employees, associates, contractors and staff, harmless from any and all occurrences or claims that may arise now or in the future in my treatment of patients.

I also agree to indemnify and hold harmless the ABLS and the SMA from any loss, liability, damage or costs, including court costs and attorney's fees that I may incur due to my participation in the ABLS educational sessions and examinations; or my treatment of a patient during or after the educational sessions and examinations. Further, I agree to the ABLS's General Disclaimer of Liability, as posted on its website at: and SMA's General Disclaimer Policy as posted on its website at:

Specifically these provisions apply to this course:

The full ABLS Diplomate Certification is awarded ONLY to medical practitioners who have been accepted for the certification process, received the ABLS Study Guide, and taken and passed all of the applicable ABLS Written AND Oral Examinations. These examinations are designed to solely promote the understanding of basic laser science, tissue interaction and safety in medicine. The Written Fundamental Laser Science and Laser Safety Examinations are scored quantitatively with a minimum passing grade of 80.0%. The ABLS issues a Certificate of Course Completion for THIS online course.

The ABLS Study Guide and Written Examinations, website and any associated forms (i.e. collectively the "information") are published in good faith and for general educational / informational purpose only, and are not intended nor should be construed as specific medical advice or recommendations for specific patients. The ABLS attempts to provide this educational information in an accurate manner, however this information is provided "as is" and is subject to change from time to time without notice. The ABLS does not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. This information has not been specifically approved by any US state medical board or other US or international regulatory agency.

The ABLS, including its officers, directors, employees and any associated contractual service providers, makes no specific medical or legal guaranties relative to the use of this information. Use of this information is entirely up to the decision making of any medical practitioner, or other person, who receives this information and any of the ABLS's Certificates. The ABLS is not responsible for the actions by any medical practitioner, or other persons, resulting from the use of this information, nor assumes any liability for same. The risk for any action taken by course candidates upon this information is strictly at that candidate's own risk. The ABLS will not be liable for any losses and/or damages in connection with the use of this information. Candidates and any other medical practitioners are not in any way under the ongoing supervision of the ABLS.


By using the ABLS website and forms and course, you hereby consent to the ABLS's Disclaimers and agree to these terms and conditions as disclosed.


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