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June 2017

Frederic Edward Mohs, MD—The Pioneer of Chemosurgery

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 2University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
JAMA Dermatol. 2017;153(6):522. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.0723

In 1910, Frederic Edward Mohs, MD, was born in Burlington, Wisconsin. Although initially he trained to become a radio engineer, Dr Mohs transitioned to medicine in college.1 While he attended medical school at the University of Wisconsin, he worked with Dr Michael Guyer, a cancer researcher, and cultivated an interest in preparing frozen tissue for histological study. Here, he made the vital discovery that zinc chloride paste could “fix” skin tissue for microscopic examination, setting the foundation for the Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) technique.2