Q: What made you get into dermatology as opposed to another specialty?
A: I liked the fact that it was both medical and surgical, which most medical fields aren’t. I am very visually oriented, so dermatology appealed to me in that sense. We have over 3,000 different diseases, so just the diversity in the field is amazing. Almost any disease can manifest itself in the skin, so that is challenging.
Q: What really excites you about dermatology?
A: I like to see positive results in my patients, and I think that is why I chose this field. There are a lot of fields where you’re managing chronic diseases like diabetes. You’re never going to cure them, you’re just keeping it under control, and that doesn’t excite me. So, I like the fact that I can see something, and then get rid of it.
Q: What is the salary range for dermatologists?
A: There really aren’t ranges because depending on the area of the country you are in. In New York you aren’t salaried. You get paid for exactly what you do. It’s also really hard to answer that because many dermatologists don’t work full time.
Q: How do medical students stand when applying for residencies since dermatology is such a hot specialty now and there is a dearth of dermatological residencies out there?
A: I think it is the most competitive residency around now. I did a lot of clinical and scientific research nights, weekends and summers and submitted to a lot of it to publications. I think that stood out for me. You have to do well in medical school; obviously grades matter. You want to get to be known. It helps then when you get letters of recommendation that they actually know who you are, more than just what is on paper. I know some of my counterparts actually took a year off from medical school to do a whole year of research.
Q: What are your thoughts on the July 2008 New York Times article that claimed medical and cosmetic patients were being treated differently in the same practices?
A: I can’t really say because it doesn’t apply to our office because we’re so medically oriented. Only five percent of our practice is cosmetic. We treat the patients the same; there is no difference as far as getting an appointment. For me, the article wasn’t relevant, but I can’t say it’s not [relevant] for the rest of the country. I think the article is blowing it out of proportion a little bit. I think most dermatologists understand that there are medical necessities to be seen, and they do their best to try to squeeze them in.
Q: Where do you see yourself in five years?
A: I still see myself seeing patients. I love clinical dermatology!