Kaplan-Amonette Department of Dermatology at UTHSC Growing; Expanding Clinical Practice

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Dr. Tajesh Patel, the interim director of the Kaplan-Amonette Department of Dermatology at UTHSC, wants faculty and staff, as well as the Memphis community, to know the department is a one-stop-shop for dermatology diagnosis and treatment. (Photo by Thurman Hobson, UTHSC)

If you have a suspicious-looking mole or a strange patch on your skin, Tejesh Patel, MD, FAAD, has some advice – get it checked out. And he wants you to know that, as faculty and staff at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), the Kaplan-Amonette Department of Dermatology is ready to help.

“We’re here to serve our UTHSC family,” said Dr. Patel, who was named interim chair of the department by David Stern, MD, Robert Kaplan Executive Dean of the UTHSC College of Medicine.

Kaplan-Amonette — now in its fourth year of operation as a department of the College of Medicine — is growing, actively looking to add new faculty members and expand its clinical operation.

Dr. Patel, who is originally from London, England, did his residency in dermatology at UTHSC, a dermatopathology fellowship in Philadelphia, and returned to UTHSC to join the dermatology faculty in 2012, shortly before Kaplan-Amonette became a department. “I wanted to give back to the place where I trained, and I had a lifelong passion to go into academics,” he said.

His first goal is to continue the excellent clinical practice the department has established. In the near future, he hopes to expand clinical services to other areas in Memphis to allow patients better access to dermatology services.

He stressed that the department’s clinical practice, which is run by University Clinical Health, is available to serve the Mid-South community, including UTHSC team members. As the department’s faculty has expanded, time to treatment has been reduced. Appointments are usually available within a week, and sometimes, within days.

The department and its clinical practice are located in Suite 801 of the 930 Madison Building on campus. It includes a dermatopathology laboratory, making it a one-stop shop for patient care. Dermatologists are able to evaluate skin complaints, and board certified dermatopathologists are available to diagnose tissue specimens if taken, thus offering patients comprehensive care in one location.

“We get samples from multiple states couriered in by FedEx,” Dr. Patel said. “The dermatopathology arm of the department has been very successful.”

Dr. Patel said the department has added a pediatric dermatologist offering services through Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, and has an established dermatology practice at the Memphis VA Medical Center.

He hopes to develop the department as a regional, national, and eventually, international resource, adding new clinic sites and working with UTHSC’s partner institutions, including West Cancer Center and Regional One Health.

“I think the main mission of the department is first to establish itself as a center of excellence for both clinical dermatology and dermatopathology, and then build upon that to start research projects,” Dr. Patel said.

“We are proud of the Kaplan-Amonette Department of Dermatology and its excellent work to serve the needs of the community and of our campus,” Dr. Stern said. “We look forward to future growth, as the young department continues to establish itself as a premier dermatology resource in the region.”

At a Glance:

Kaplan-Amonette Dermatology Department at UTHSC

Location: 930 Madison Avenue, Suite 801

Phone: (901) 866-8805

More information: http://www.universityclinicalhealth.com/ut-dermatology/