Establishment of the ASMS
The American Society for Mohs Surgery (ASMS) was founded in 1990 by a small group of dermatologists in Southern California, all of whom had received extensive Mohs training in Residency and had successfully integrated the Mohs technique into their practices. The ASMS was envisioned as a professional medical society that would provide important professional and educational support for the increasing number of Residency-trained Mohs surgeons throughout the country.
A previously existing organization of Mohs surgeons, the American College of Mohs Micrographic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology (now known as the American College of Mohs Surgery) had established a post-Residency Mohs Fellowship training program, and provided membership to dermatologists who had completed that training. The ASMS, however, welcomed members from both Mohs Fellowship training and Residency training backgrounds, and created an environment in which members could openly share their Mohs knowledge and experience with other dermatologists whose training had not included the Mohs technique.
The ASMS soon developed recurring medical education courses to reinforce key dermatologic surgery and Mohs concepts through multi-faceted demonstrations and discussions of the latest advances in skin cancer treatment. A formal Peer Review program also was established, in which members could regularly submit Mohs cases for quality assurance evaluation. Today the ASMS continues to place a strong emphasis on high-quality dermatologic education, with our programs encompassing surgical skill development and refinement, improved performance in practice, and enhanced patient outcomes in Mohs surgery and related techniques. One of our two annual courses is devoted exclusively to Mohs surgery and provides dermatologists with a detailed overview of the technique and guidelines for establishing safe, efficient Mohs practices. The ASMS recognizes the important support role of the Mohs technician in the successful performance of Mohs surgery, and hands-on technician training is a regular component of the annual Fundamentals of Mohs Surgery course.
Board certification by the American Board of Dermatology (ABD) or the American Osteopathic Board of Dermatology (AOBD) is required for ASMS Fellow and Affiliate members. Both the ABD and the AOBD promote high professional standards for dermatologists. Their Board certification candidates are rigorously examined on dermatologic surgery and histopathology concepts, both of which are integral to the performance of Mohs surgery.
The ASMS requires its Fellow membership candidates to submit recent Mohs cases and related documentation for review prior to acceptance in this membership category. Fellow candidates also must pass an examination covering covering numerous Mohs surgery principles, as well as demonstrate specific skills in the interpretation of Mohs histopathology.
We are extremely proud of our members’ significant contributions to patient health, from diligent skin cancer screening to the application of the most appropriate medical and/or surgical interventions, including Mohs micrographic surgery. Given the rising incidence of skin cancer due to environmental and lifestyle factors, earlier skin cancer detection, and an increasing number of patients entering a high-risk age group, we believe that all patients should have reasonable and timely access to well-trained skin cancer specialists and Mohs providers.