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What is a fellowship-trained Mohs Micrographic Surgeon?

Mohs micrographic surgery offers the highest cure rate of any treatment available for most common skin cancers, including basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. At North Sound Dermatology, Dr. Dieter Schmidt offers this procedure as one of the only fellowship-trained Mohs micrographic surgeons in the area. Residents in the Seattle and Everett areas can trust North Sound Dermatology for their Mohs procedures.

The Mohs technique also removes less normal skin than any other surgical treatment available, so cosmetic outcomes are optimized.


A fellowship-trained Mohs micrographic surgeon has completed four years of college and four years of medical school (MD), followed by a one-year internship and a three-year dermatology residency, and then one to two years of Mohs micrographic surgery fellowship training with an accredited American College of Mohs Surgery program.

During residency, dermatologists typically receive an introduction to the Mohs technique. However, those who wish to specialize in this highly complex, sophisticated treatment need to complete further fellowship training for one to two years.

To ensure that you are receiving quality treatment from a specialist with the highest level of training, look for a board-certified dermatologist who is fellowship-trained in Mohs micrographic surgery. A list of fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons can be found by visiting the American College of Mohs Surgery website.

Services Offered

Mohs micrographic surgery is a specialized procedure used for removing skin cancers. A thin layer of tissue is removed and tested by the surgeon. The exact location of cancerous cells is mapped, and another layer is removed from that precise area. The process is repeated until the area tests cancer-free. This allows the cancer to be removed completely, without removing excess healthy tissue.

Mohs micrographic surgery is typically recommended for cancers that are:

  • Located in cosmetically sensitive areas, such as the face, where minimizing the scar and preserving healthy skin are of upmost importance
  • In an area where recurrence is more likely, such as the eyelids, lips, ears, or nose
  • Aggressive and growing quickly
  • Deemed as likely to recur
  • Recurrent after another cancer treatment method has failed
  • Located in an area with a large amount of scar tissue
  • An aggressive subtype of cancer, which would be likely to return if another method were used
  • Large (over 1cm on the face, or 1.5 cm on other areas of the body)
  • Difficult to determine where the cancer starts and stops (the edges of the cancer are not obvious)

Why Choose A Fellowship-Trained Mohs Surgeon

The Mohs procedure offers you the highest cure rates possible, as well as optimized cosmetic results. However, few dermatologists have the expertise required to perform it, as they have not completed fellowship training accredited by the American College of Mohs Surgery.

Dr. Dieter Schmidt is one of just two dermatologists in the region who is fellowship-trained in Mohs micrographic surgery. He completed his training at one of the most prestigious Mohs fellowship programs in the nation, the University of Colorado. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery.

If you are facing skin cancer surgery, contact North Sound Dermatology and schedule a consultation to find out if you are a good candidate for Mohs surgery. We offer this procedure to residents in the Seattle, Everett, and surrounding Washington areas.