“The practice of medicine is an art, not a trade; a calling, not a business; a calling in which your heart will be exercised equally with your head.”
Since I became a physician, I have lived by Sir William Osler’s memorable words, which are as true today as they were 100 years ago. My deeply held belief in this philosophy has always guided my practice as a cosmetic dermatologist, laser, and skin cancer surgeon. My artistic sense, judgment, passion and understanding of people have been as important as my medical expertise in producing the best experience and outcome for my patients.
My fascination with symmetry, shape and the relationship of structure to function began early in life. I grew up in a family devoted to the arts and service to family and the community. I spent much of my youth studying ballet and watercolor. Ballet was my first education in the human form, while watercolor honed my manual dexterity and my understanding of how I could use it to create beauty. Community service took the form of church related volunteering, and tutoring at-risk North Philadelphia children on Saturday mornings. These culminated in being awarded the Girl Scout Marian Award.
At the same time, I developed a strong interest in science and medicine. During high school, I spent two summers and my senior year studying at Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia. I went on to attain my MD degree at Temple University School of Medicine, where I found myself drawn to both surgery and dermatology; the importance of the tactile and visual in these specialties made them a natural fit for me. As a result, I completed a year of General Surgery training at Temple before doing my Dermatology residency and chief residency at Yale School of Medicine-New Haven Hospital.
During my years at Yale, I developed a particular interest in collagen regeneration and anti-aging procedures and products. At the same time, I was enthralled by a then new surgical method for excising difficult basal and squamous cell skin cancers, the Mohs technique. While more time-consuming for the surgeon, the elegant and precise Mohs method preserves more of a patient’s healthy tissue than conventional surgical procedures, reduces scarring while offering the highest cure rate.
After Yale, I earned my board certification in Dermatology while I completed the prestigious fellowship in Mohs, Cosmetic, Laser and Dermatologic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh.
I believe that my extra years of surgical training, which are notable in dermatology, not only broadened and deepened my surgical skills and knowledge, but also my respect for the human body. My subsequent decades of skin and skin surgery experience has further developed my understanding of the body and honed my aesthetic sensibilities.
In cosmetic dermatology and laser surgery, exciting new non- invasive procedures to reduce fat, contour the body, lift and tighten skin and deep tissues, reverse sun damage and fight the signs of aging continue to emerge at a rapid pace. Advances in skin cancer treatment and prevention continue to evolve to save and improve the lives of patients.
The prevention of sun damage and melanoma in young people is important to me. I have been outspoken in TV, online, and print media warning of the dangers of tanning beds, and have supported legislation to limit their use by minors. I have continued my community service commitment as a volunteer attending at the Greenwich Hospital Dermatology Clinic. In this capacity I also teach Dermatology to doctors in training.
On the personal side, I am the proud mother of a spectacular millennial. I love outdoor activities particularly hiking, kayaking and paddle boarding. Yes, you can enjoy the water and still practice “safe sun.”