What is a Mohs Surgeon?

By: Vivacare - Dr. Mark Becker

What is a Mohs Surgeon?

Mohs surgeon is a dermatologist who has completed additional training in the surgical treatment of skin cancer.

Mohs surgery is a highly effective treatment for certain types of skin cancer. It requires surgically removing the skin cancer and performing microscopic examination of the surgical margins during the procedure to ensure that all skin cancer cells have been removed.

A Mohs surgeon must be adept at the various surgical techniques required to remove skin cancer from various locations, such as the nose, ear, lips and face, and to close the wound with optimal cosmetic outcome. In addition, the Mohs surgeon must be capable of accurately diagnosing the skin cancer cells under a microscope.

In addition, the Mohs surgeon must have the required surgical and laboratory facilities and must be supported by a well-trained Mohs nursing and histotechnological staff.

In order to become a Mohs surgeon, the dermatologist undergoes specialized training during and after his or her dermatology residency. Mohs surgery training includes challenging medical education courses with an emphasis on Mohs surgery, observational preceptorship training with other highly-experienced Mohs surgeons, and formal Mohs fellowships.

Although dermatologists must complete a formal process in order to become “board-certified” in dermatology, there is no formal board cerification process specific to Mohs surgery.

There are two professional medical organizations comprised of practicing Mohs surgeons, the American College of Mohs Surgery (ACMS) and the American Society for Mohs Surgery (ASMS). Both organizations encourage high-quality continuing medical education and quality assurance measures for its members.