melanoma and skin cancer docs

Discussion in 'Dermatology' started by FutureDoc4, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. FutureDoc4

    2+ Year Member

    Jan 1, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Medical Student
    Hi everyone,

    Just curious if people could answer this question for me. I am really interested in becoming a dermatologist that focuses on skin cancer (obviously Moh's surgery etc). However, I recently came across an attending that was a surgical oncologist that strictly does melanomas and skin cancers. Does anyone know why someone would go to a Surgical oncologist vs a Mohs trained dermatologist? Is there an advantage of one path over another or the types of skin cancers they can treat? (I definitely want clinic time with pts besides surgery time, so I don't think that path would be for me, I am just curious).

  2. MOHS_01

    MOHS_01 audemus jura nostra defendere
    Physician 10+ Year Member

    Oct 2, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Attending Physician
    Very different fields, generally with very different practice environments. Both would be great career choices, but quite different. Generally speaking, Mohs surgeons will defer excision of tumors that may benefit from sentinel node staging/procedure. Your typical nonmelanoma skin cancer does not require this. Mohs is predominantly, if not exclusively, outpatient. There would be a significant inpatient component to surg onc. Frankly, if you go through surg onc training and limit yourself exclusively to NMSC and melanoma you are wasting good training.

    Your best bet would be to follow around both of them for an extended period of time to see which you like best.

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