August 9, 2010

Dermatopathology is a very unique field in pathology/dermatology that should be performed by physicians with specialized training in this area and who spend the majority of their professional time as a dermatopathologist.  Dermatologists and pathologists can both become dermatopathologists.  In dermatology residency, 1/3 of all educational time is spent learning dermatopathology.  Those dermatologists who plan on practicing dermatopathology typically enter a one year dermatopathology fellowship, in which one can become board certified in dermatopathology following the fellowship.  Pathologists spend a portion of their total pathology training in dermatopathology and can enter a one year dermatopathology fellowship as well.  Dermatopathology requires a special talent, and I’ve encountered outstanding dermatopathologists from a core dermatology and a core pathology background.  I send my pathology specimens to an excellent group of board certified dermatopathologists at Baylor College of Medicine.  They work very closely with the dermatopathologists at MD Anderson and once a week have a joint consensus conference where the most difficult dermatopathology cases are evaluated by all of the dermatopathologists so a consensus diagnosis can be achieved.