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Tejesh Patel Named Chair of the Department of Dermatology at UTHSC

Dr. Tejesh Patel (Photo by Allen Gillespie/UTHSC)

Tejesh Patel, MD, FAAD, has been named chair of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine’s Kaplan-Amonette Department of Dermatology. He previously served as interim chair.

“Dr. Tejesh Patel was selected as our next chair of Dermatology based on his vision, ability to collaborate, and his attention to detail in clinical operations,” said UTHSC Chancellor Steve Schwab, MD. “While acting as our interim chair, he expanded the faculty, grew the residency program, and expanded clinical volume. He explored new clinical markets, while creating a firm base of scholarship in both dermatology and dermatopathology. This is a harbinger of things to come for our UTHSC Department of Dermatology with Dr. Patel leading.”

In his role, Dr. Patel will continue the growth of the department, positioning it to become a national leader in dermatology in the areas of clinical service, education and research.

“My initial goals are to develop subspecialty clinics and services, as well as to embrace cutting-edge therapies, so the department stays at the forefront of medical dermatology,” he said.

Certified by the American Board of Dermatology with a subspecialty in dermatopathology, Dr. Patel completed an internal medicine internship and a dermatology residency with the UTHSC College of Medicine, as well as fellowships with the Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

He was drawn to practice dermatology because of the variety it offered, including the opportunity to treat patients across all age groups and conditions, while serving as both a clinician, surgeon, and pathologist. This, he says, is unique to dermatology.

A native of London, England, Dr. Patel chose UTHSC and Memphis to practice for many reasons. “I wanted to return to the institution where I had the honor of training, and essentially, wanted to give back. I had great mentors and role models and wanted to follow in their footsteps of one day leading the program.” Among his mentors were Robert Skinner, MD, professor in the Department of Dermatology; E. William Rosenberg, MD, who established the residency program for the Department of Dermatology; and Rex Amonette, MD, founder of the Memphis Dermatology Clinic, after whom the department is named.

Dermatology became a department at UTHSC in 2012, after more than 50 years as a successful division in the College of Medicine. The department offers training to both medical students and residents through a four-year residency training program.

Dr. Patel will also oversee the clinical practice of the department, which is run by University Clinical Health. The clinic offers services, including medical and surgical care of diseases affecting the skin, hair, nails, and mucous membranes of adults and children. “Pediatric dermatologists are rare to come by and something Memphis was lacking,” Dr. Patel said. “We are proud and excited to now have two pediatric dermatologists, Drs. Teresa Wright and Crystal Pourciau in the department.”

Located at 930 Madison Avenue, Suite 810, patient care is available to UTHSC employees and students, as well as to the entire Mid-South region. The clinical office also has a dermatopathology laboratory that allows the practice to diagnose tissue specimens, offering full, comprehensive treatment under one roof. The pediatric dermatology service is run by Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

A Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, and member of the Tennessee Dermatology Society and the Memphis Dermatology Society, Dr. Patel is author and co-author to more than 30 medical publications, book chapters, and presentations.