A Brief History of ASDS and Dermatologic Surgery 

The '70s

Dermatologic surgery as a subspecialty has developed over the last 50 years. On Dec. 5, 1970, 29 dermatologic surgeons came together for the first unofficial meeting of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) while attending the annual meeting for the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). 

In 1975, the Journal of Dermatologic Surgery was founded.  

The '80s

Membership in ASDS continued to rise, however in spite of this, the society was met with resistance from the American Board of Dermatology, AAD, and Plastic Surgery in its effort to create a surgical subspecialty board. It was not until 1987 that ASDS finally achieved representation in the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates.

The '90s

During the 1990s, the Dermatology Residency Review Committee (a committee of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education [ACGME]) approved the requirement of a dermatologic surgeon for each training program that would oversee resident training. In the late 1990s, ASDS was finally able to convince AMA to list dermatologic surgery as a subspecialty of medicine and surgery. In 1999, ASDS joined the Federation of Specialty Plastic Surgery Societies alongside the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) and the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS).


1. History of the ASDS and Dermatologic Surgery Celebrating 35 Years. Rolling Meadows, IL: American Society for Dermatologic Surgery; 2005.

2. Tolkachjov, S. N., M.D., Brodland, D. G., M.D., Coldiron, B. M., M.D., Fazio, M. J., M.D., Hruza, G. J., M.D., Roenigk, R. K., M.D., . . . Harmon, C. B., M.D. (2017). Understanding mohs micrographic surgery: A review and practical guide for the nondermatologist. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 92(8), 1261-1271. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mayocp.2017.04.009

3. Bangash HK, Eisen DB, Armstrong AW, Nelson AA, et al. Who are the pioneers? A critical analysis of innovation and expertise in cutaneous noninvasive and minimally invasive cosmetic and surgical procedures. Dermatol Surg 2016;42:335–51.