News & Notes

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

ABMS Approves Subspecialty Certification in MDS

Dear Colleagues,
The American Board of Dermatology (ABD) has announced that The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) approved the creation of subspecialty certification in Micrographic Dermatologic Surgery (MDS).  

We deeply appreciate the strong support of this initiative by our own members, and by numerous other specialty organizations and ABMS member boards. We are also grateful for the remarkable dedication of Drs. Randy Roenigk and Tom Stasko. Their thoughtful and steadfast leadership was instrumental in garnering this momentous recognition. We are hopeful that the divisions within our specialty during the recent comment period will diminish as we experience the positive impact of this certification pathway.

We will continue to communicate with you as we learn more details regarding the certification process. Rest assured the College will be developing an educational program to have you well-prepared for the board examination. Again, we would like to express our gratitude for your pivotal role in supporting this milestone, which has long been a pillar of the College’s Strategic Plan.


Barry Leshin, MD, FACMS, President 
Elizabeth Billingsley, MD, FACMSVice President    
Glenn Goldman, MD, FACMSSecretary/Treasurer         
Allison Vidimos, MD, FACMS, Immediate Past President

October 17, 2018

ACMS seeks change to proposed compounding guidelines

The ACMS joins the American Academy of Dermatology in its efforts to ask that the USP adopt at least a 12-hour exemption from its safety equipment and process standards in Chapter 797 affecting compounded sterile preparations. The content below is provided by the AAD and can be accessed on the AAD website here.

On July 27, the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) published its second set of proposed revisions to its General Chapter <797> Pharmaceutical Compounding – Sterile Preparations. Chapter 797 sets forth standards for compounding sterile preparations, including performing manipulations inside a certified ISO 5 area, conducting routine environmental monitoring, and conducting personnel sampling (including glove fingertip sampling). This chapter affects CSPs in dermatology, such as buffered lidocaine (lidocaine with or without epinephrine mixed with sodium bicarbonate), reconstituted botulinum toxins (bacteriostatic saline instead of normal saline), and diluted triamcinolone acetonide.

In its proposed revisions, the USP proposes a one-hour time exemption from the chapter’s standards for in-office preparations, starting with preparation and ending with administration of the CSP. While this is an improvement from the current standards that have no exemptions applicable to dermatology, limiting the exemption to one hour is insufficient. The one-hour exemption would not cover buffering lidocaine at the beginning of the workday to be used throughout the day or ahead of a surgery that lasts longer than an hour. Without a longer exemption, patient access to buffered lidocaine, reconstituted botulinum toxins and diluted triamcinolone acetonide will be impeded.

As dermatologists, our utmost concerns are quality patient care and patient safety. To treat their skin cancers and numerous skin diseases, patients require access to medications prepared and administered in the clinical setting. A longer exemption is needed for buffering lidocaine, which is a common practice in dermatology. Sodium bicarbonate is added to lidocaine with epinephrine using aseptic technique to neutralize the pH of the preparation from approximately 4 to approximately 7.4 in a process called “buffering” to decrease the pain of the injection and increase the onset of the local anesthesia. Having buffered lidocaine syringes prepared in advance of patient visits at the beginning of the day is critical for uninterrupted patient access. Peer-reviewed scientific studies support this practice. We are concerned that physicians would need to step away from caring for patients to buffer lidocaine or comply with the chapter’s standards, which are unreasonably burdensome for a low-risk preparation created by mixing two FDA-approved drugs. For all these reasons, we respectfully request that the USP increase the time-based exemption proposed to at least 12 hours to accommodate the preparation of compounded sterile preparations at the beginning of the day.

If you have any questions about USP’s proposed revisions to General Chapter <797> Pharmaceutical Compounding – Sterile Preparations, please contact Natasha Pattanshetti, Manager, Regulatory Policy at

September 20, 2018

New ACMS podcast now available

The first episode of the College's podcast series, Conversations in Mohs Surgery, is available now. Dr. Thomas Knackstedt, the host, will interview authors of key articles published in the micrographic dermatologic surgery literature. The first episode features Dr. Jeremy Bordeaux discussing his recent review of the safety of dermatologic surgery in the outpatient setting.
Listen here.

August 22, 2018

Summer Membership Bulletin e-Newsletter

The Summer 2018 issue of the ACMS Membership Bulletin e-newsletter is now available. Read it here.

In This Issue    

  • President's Message
  • ACMS Happenings
    • 2019 Annual Meeting Call for Abstracts          
    • Update on Board Certification for Micrographic Dermatologic Surgery
    • E/M Proposals Prompt Reductions in Key Dermatology Services
    • Dispatches from Washington, DC: Alliance for Specialty Medicine Fly-In
    • How to Participate in the MohsAIQ Registry
    • Updates From the Summer AMA House of Delegates Meeting
    • Register Your Tech for Mohs Technician Quality Assurance Training October 18-19
    • Order 50th Anniversary Books Online
  • Ask Glenn: Answers to Your Mohs Coding & Billing Questions
  • Practice Tips and Efficacy: Care of Surgical Instruments
  • Highlights from the Literature: Dermoscopy for the Diagnosis of Melanoma in Situ    
  • Viewpoints: Understanding the Power and Pitfalls of Social Media
  • Hot Topic: What You Need to Know About the ACGME Clinical Learning Environment Review (CLER)
  • Fellow-in-Training Perspectives: A Roadmap to Navigate the Year of Fellowship Training
  • Survey: Navigating Barriers to Patient Access and Reimbursement in Mohs Micrographic Surgery

August 9, 2018

2019 Annual Meeting Call for Abstracts

Submission period open now through January 10, 2019

ACMS members and fellows in training are invited to submit an abstract for consideration of an oral or poster presentation at the 51st American College of Mohs Surgery Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland taking place May 2-5, 2019 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront.

The Scientific Program Committee has broadened abstract submission opportunities with the goals of involving more members in the Annual Meeting and encouraging the highest quality of presentations. To learn more about each of these opportunities, please see details in the Call for Abstracts on the ACMS website:

August 1, 2018

Enroll in MohsAIQ registry; first 25 to enter 100 cases receive Pioneer Award

The MohsAIQ (Mohs Advancing and Improving Quality) registry is now live. Domestic ACMS members can download and complete an Enrollment Form and legal documents here. After the forms are returned to the ACMS, participants will be sent training links for authorized staff and will be ready to start participating. The first 25 physicians to input 100 cases into MohsAIQ will receive the Pioneer Award, a framed certificate that recognizes commitment to quality and performance measurement in Mohs Micrographic surgery.

President's Messages

The President's Message is sent monthly via email to ACMS members.

Member Research Surveys

From its inception, an essential role of the Mohs College has been to help fellowship trainees become the best Mohs surgeons possible through rigorous fellowship training programs, and in the process advance knowledge in the specialty. Supporting the research they undertake during their fellowships is an important part of their education and development. To support this, open surveys linked to research studies conducted by residents, fellows-in-training and College members are distributed in a monthly email to members. These surveys have been reviewed and approved for distribution by the Executive Committee of the ACMS Board of Directors.

The Cutting Edge

The Cutting Edge provides important ACMS news alongside the latest updates relevant Mohs surgeons. Delivered biweekly via email, this news brief includes scannable summaries of more detailed content available on the ACMS website and elsewhere.  

View current and past issues here

Please note that The Cutting Edge is sent as an email from Please add this domain to your safe senders list to ensure delivery.

Fellow-in-Training Perspectives

Each year's Fellow-in-Training Board Observer also serves as a member of the ACMS Newsletter Committee, in order to participate in discussion of, and provide valuable perspective on, College activities and news for other fellows-in-training.

Read the recent columns written for the newsletter here.

Member Highlights

The ACMS is proud to underscore the high caliber of its members by featuring their professional and scientific achievements, including publications, presentations, awards and other recognition. To help us share your achievement, complete the submission form below with as much information as possible. You may also upload any relevant or supporting documents.

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