Nearly a year ago SkinCare Physicians’ long time fellowship training was accredited through the ASDS Cosmetic Dermatologic Surgery Fellowship Accreditation Program. ASDS launched the program in summer 2013 to promote comprehensive post-residency training in cosmetic dermatologic surgery procedures. Soon our three Fellows, Drs. Emily Keller, Kathryn Kent and Laurel Morton, will “graduate” from our program and move on bigger things, enthusiastic and positive about their training at SkinCare Physicians near Boston. They shared their experience in the following article published in the May-June 2014 issue of Currents, the ASDS magazine.
A TREMENDOUS BOOST
Program: SkinCare Physicians, Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Co-directors: Kenneth Arndt, MD – Jeffrey Dover, MD – Michael Kaminer, MD – Thomas Rohrer, MD
Fellows: Emily Keller, MD – Kathryn Kent, MD – Laurel Morton, MD
The three Fellows at SkinCare Physicians can sum up their many positive moments of nearly a year of intensive training in cosmetic dermatologic procedures: increased confidence, access to cutting-edge technology, working with and gaining insights from multiple physicians, and helping victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.
“I think I’m going to be starting off with a huge foundation of knowledge I wouldn’t have had, had I not done this,” said Emily Keller, MD. “There’s trepidation in starting off on your own. This is a tremendous boost.”
She and Kathryn Kent, MD, and Laurel Morton, MD, all are training with SkinCare Physicians in Chestnut Hill, Mass. Jeffrey Dover, MD, heads the program, which includes five additional faculty members. Drs. Keller and Morton are concentrating on lasers and aesthetic dermatology while Dr. Kent will her year having completed not only a cosmetic dermatologic surgery fellowship but also a fellowship in ACGME Procedural Dermatology. The latter fellowship is being accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.
Both Drs. Kent and Keller have found the ability to learn from four different staff members a big plus. “You learn different perspectives on techniques, responses to side effects, ways to engage with patients and how to manage the business. That allows us to form our own techniques, taking pieces from each practitioner,” said Dr. Keller.
“My general favorite is laser procedures,” said Dr. Morton. “The applications are broadest, which allows you to be creative when people come to you with specific problems. Here they have so many devices and can really teach us a wide array of techniques. That has been really valuable.”
Dr. Keller agreed. “I’ve seen lasers here I’ve never seen in my life before,” she said. As a result, she’s now performed a number of once-unfamiliar treatments, including fully ablative resurfacing and hair transplants.
All three Fellows have particularly enjoyed their involvement in Project Heal, the practice’s pro bono initiative to treat the victims of the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
Victims suffered lower-extremity injuries, blast and scar injuries, said Dr. Morton. The three have taken an active role in performing grafts and flaps and improving patients’ range of motion and have had the rewarding experience of helping the patients. “We truly have changed lives in a good way,” said Dr. Keller. “We are giving them function back. Instead of looking at the scars and seeing horrible memories, they can look ahead and put that time behind them.”
Because Dr. Kent already had a personal interest in treating scars, she was particularly interested in the treatments. “Usually in private practice, you don’t see those types of injuries,” she said. “It was very meaningful to have this experience and get to help the victims.”
Rewarding for practice
Dr. Dover, who has helped train scores of fellows in the past, has found the practice’s involvement in the new accreditation program rewarding. “It’s been very good. There’s no doubt about it,” he said.
Accreditation helps ensure uniform standards of care and education across the nation, he said. “We have formal training expectations, and the bar is set high.”
In addition, the program has the backing of a national organization. “It’s the real McCoy, and we hope it will encourage others to have a national accredited program. That will expand the number of Fellowships across the country,” he said.
The Fellowship program also changes lives, Dr. Dover said. A patient came in with an extremely rare syndrome that causes a particular hue of facial discoloration. As a result, she had stopped many formerly enjoyable activities and hated to leave the house. One of the Fellows found a 50-year-old paper that discussed how the condition could perhaps be treated through delivering light in a certain range. The Fellow identified a particular laser that might work and followed up with more research and testing. Over a series of treatments, the woman’s face cleared 99 percent. “The reason it worked was the hard work and digging of this Fellow,” said Dr. Dover. “We’ve changed the patient’s life; we’ve changed the Fellow’s life.”
Dr. Kent said she plans to work with a dermatologic surgeon in Miami. Dr. Morton’s plans aren’t finalized, but she and her husband want to stay in the Boston area. Dr. Keller, after college, med school and residency in the Midwest and her Fellowship on the East Coast, will head west to Colorado Springs.
They all know they can call up their former mentors when they need help or advice. “They’ve taken us under their wings,” said Dr. Keller. “We know they’ll be truly watching out for us, guiding us – still challenging us, but helping us make our own way through the world.”
Read more about SkinCare Physicians’ Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Fellowship program.