Finding the Right Doctor for Mohs Surgery
If you require Mohs surgery, you’ll want a highly qualified dermatologist to perform the procedure. How do you find the best doctor who is right for you? Here are important factors to keep in mind.
Top Things to Look For
Find a dermatologist who:
- Is board certified in dermatology and who specializes in Mohs surgery
- Has experience treating patients with your specific type of cancer
- Accepts your insurance
- You are comfortable talking with and who fully answers your questions
Here are four steps to finding the best dermatologist to perform your Mohs surgery.
1. Ask Around
Start by creating a list of potential dermatologists. Ask your family, friends, and other healthcare providers for recommendations. If you’re starting out without any referrals, or you’re looking for more options, search for dermatologists on Healthgrades.com. Dermatologists who perform Mohs surgery exclusively or in high volumes are also known as Mohs micrographic surgeons.
Healthgrades.com shows patient satisfaction ratings, which give you insight into how your own experience might be with the doctor. Patients rate the doctor and the doctor’s medical practice, and say if they would recommend the doctor to family and friends.
2. Research Credentials and Experience
Take time to research the doctors’ credentials and experience. Look for a doctor who is board certified in dermatology and performs Mohs surgery on a regular basis. The more experience a doctor has performing Mohs surgery, the better prepared he or she is to anticipate and prevent complications.
Keep in mind that the dermatologist works with a pathologist to determine the extent of cancer cells in each layer of skin tissue the dermatologist removes. For this reason, ask the dermatologist about the credentials and experience of the pathologist on his or her team.
Also, confirm that the doctor is in good standing with state and federal agencies and that he or she has no history of malpractice claims or disciplinary actions.
You’ll find all this information on Healthgrades.com.
3. Interview the Surgeon
As you narrow down your list of dermatologists, call each doctor’s office and ask for a consult appointment to meet and interview the doctor.
- Ask yourself if you are comfortable talking with the doctor.
- Does he or she respect your opinions and answer your questions in a way you understand?
Here are some questions to ask the doctor:
- Do you typically treat patients like me?
- How many Mohs surgeries have you performed?
- What results do you usually see? Do you have outcomes data to share?
- How frequently do you encounter complications from the procedure?
- What do you do to avoid complications or correct them if they occur?
Some dermatologists complete fellowship training in Mohs surgery (Mohs microsurgery) after their dermatology residency. Ask your doctor about their specific training in Mohs surgery.
4. Determine Your Insurance Benefit
Your insurance coverage is a practical matter. To receive the most insurance benefits and pay the least out-of-pocket for your surgery, you need to choose a surgeon that participates in your plan.
But keep in mind, just because a doctor participates in your insurance plan doesn’t mean he or she is a high-quality doctor. You still need to consider the doctor’s experience and expertise.