If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer and Mohs surgery has been recommended for treatment, you need an experienced Mohs surgeon. Unfortunately, all surgeons that perform this complicated and precise surgery do not necessarily have the same experience and qualifications. There are two varieties of Mohs surgeons: those who are true Mohs surgeons (ACMS trained) and those who are Mohs surgery certified (ASMS certified). The training and experience levels are very different, so it is important to know the difference.
Mohs Surgery Certified Physicians
The quickest way to become a Mohs surgeon for dermatologist is to undergo a board review through the American Society of Mohs Surgery. This involves the physicians taking a short class, often over a weekend, and completing Mohs surgery on a few cases that are reviewed by a peer panel. This quick certification means the majority of their experience is on their own patients, not while under supervision of more experienced Mohs surgeons.
ACMS Trained Mohs Surgeons
Dr. Frederic E. Mohs, the creator of the Mohs surgical technique, founded the American College of Mohs Surgery in 1967. It is the only program for Mohs surgery training that requires at least a one-year fellowship after dermatologists complete their three year residency training. During this year of training, those completing the fellowship at ACMS undergo rigorous training under the supervision of an ACMS-approved Mohs surgeon. To complete this program, physicians must successfully perform at least 500 cases of Mohs surgery, plus they are well-versed in wound repair techniques to reduce scarring for the patient.
Before scheduling your Mohs surgery, ensure that your dermatologist is an ACMS trained Mohs surgeon, not only certified in the technique. For a procedure this critical, you want the most experienced and qualified surgeon to complete your surgery.
Posted on behalf of:
Northwest Georgia Dermatology
840 Church Street
Marietta, GA 30060