About Chelyen Davis:
Chelyen Davis is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star
Three new dermatologists help ease area shortage–at least for a while
Three new dermatologists have arrived in the region in recent weeks, increasing the number of skin specialists by more than 50 percent.
The rush of new dermatologists eases, at least temporarily, what has been one of the region’s most persistent physician shortages.
“We had some good docs here, but just not enough of them,” said Robert Alexander, CEO of Pratt Medical Center.
Pratt recently added a dermatologist to its physician roster. Dr. LeiLei Huffman joined the clinic last month at its Garrisonville Road office in North Stafford.
Also new to the area are Dr. Anju Pabby, who joined an existing practice in Fredericksburg, and Dr. Mark Eid, who purchased and renovated a building on U.S. 1 in Fredericksburg.
“I did my research,” Eid said. “I spent time in Fredericksburg. I loved it.”
Like many sections of the country, Fredericksburg has been critically short of dermatologists. The new arrivals bring the number of full-time dermatologists here to eight. Two other doctors are here part-time.
The population of the region grew by more than 100,000 people between the 2000 and 2010 censuses. Yet the number of full-time dermatologists changed little during that period. As a result, those who sought treatment found that many of the existing doctors were no longer taking new patients.
Pratt spent about 18 months, studying the market and interviewing candidates, Alexander said. In Huffman, the clinic chose a Northern Virginia native and University of Virginia graduate. She completed her dermatology residency at Wayne State in Detroit in 2010.
Pabby joined Dr. Terri Morris’ practice at the end of November. She had been working in California but moved east to be nearer to her new husband. She said she looked at about 10 practices in the Washington metropolitan area before joining Morris.
“I felt that this practice probably matched my personality and the way I practice medicine more so than other places,” she said.
Eid completed a fellowship in procedural dermatology and Mohs surgery at Virginia Commonwealth University in June. He will specialize in Mohs surgery, a tissue-sparing technique for the treatment of skin cancers. He opened his new solo practice this week.
“I didn’t want to be in a big city,” he said. “I wanted to be in a place similar to York (Pa.) where I grew up.”