Reclassified: Micrographic Surgery and Dermatologic Oncology (MSDO)

Mohs surgery has long been recognized as the gold standard for treating cancers of the skin. Recently however, the American Board of Dermatology has renamed and reclassified training programs that teach this procedure so it is now referred to as Micrographic Surgery and Dermatologic Oncology (MSDO).

“Mohs surgery is actually named after Dr. Fred Mohs, the surgeon who invented the technique,” says Dr. Adam Mamelak, dermatologist and skin cancer surgeon at Sanova Dermatology in Austin, Texas. In attempt to better identify physicians trained in skin cancer treatment as well as to define the purpose of this procedure, the Board decided on a change in nomenclature. “It really makes sense. I can’t tell you how many patients still ask me what M. O. H. S. stands for,” says Dr. Mamelak.

Techniques in dermatology and skincare are constantly changing and evolving, and this remains true of skin cancer treatments. Physicians trained in Dr. Mohs technique have become known as Mohs surgeons.  So why did the classification of this surgery change, and what implications does it have for receiving this treatment?


Mohs surgery training programs have shifted to be classified as a Micrographic Surgery and Dermatologic Oncology (MSDO). This change took place very recently as a result of this procedure being reclassified as a specialized surgery procedure. “This means that training and certification to perform this procedure just became more specialized, so that not just any dermatologist can perform it—to help protect patients,” shares Dr. Mamelak. This reclassification of this procedure was meant to better reflect the technical expertise required to successfully accomplish it.

Why the Name Change?

Essentially, the reclassification of Mohs surgery means that it requires more education, and a greater level of expertise, to perform. It ensures that the individuals who are able to perform the procedure have received the specialized training required to perform the surgery successfully, and ensure the best results instead of worrying over what negative consequences might result. Specifically, Mohs surgeons are specialists in cutaneous (skin) surgery and skin cancer identification, which can be essential for individuals who are skeptical of their current skin condition, or whose families have a history of skin cancer.

Dr. Adam Mamelak is MDSO certified and able to successfully help patients who are in need of specific treatment for skin cancer.

Contact Us

If you have questions about our certification and procedures, or about the condition of your skin, feel free to contact us today to learn about Mohs surgery.

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