NYC derm values variety, diversity in patients, practice

April 1, 2010

New York City dermatologist Lance H. Brown, M.D., is immersed in the specialty. The solo practitioner offers patients every aspect of dermatologic care - from Mohs and dermatologic surgery to general and cosmetic dermatology to allergy and patch testing. He sees patients of all ages at his office in the Union Square/Greenwich Village area, which is home to or accessible to a diverse population.

Key Points

Lance H. Brown, M.D.

Medical degree:
New York University
School of Medicine, New York

Residency, dermatology:
University of Miami
Miller School of Medicine, Miami

Hobbies:
Music, fishing, travel

Family:
Wife, Becca Kelly

He sees patients of all ages at his office in the Union Square/Greenwich Village area, which is home to or accessible to a diverse population.

Giving back

Dr. Brown chose dermatology because it offers the potential to develop a range of expertise. With that goal in mind, he volunteers in professional, academic and humanitarian realms. He is clinical assistant professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine and is president of the Dermatologic Society of Greater New York.

In 2004, intrigued by a friend's stories about volunteering in the South Pacific on Easter Island, Dr. Brown contacted Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO), an organization with ties to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).

"I liked that HVO had programs around the world where dermatologists and other physicians could spend time working with local caretakers and health professionals," Dr. Brown says. "This approach, and the exchange of ideas, gives you the opportunity to leave behind something valuable: knowledge."

He found out, when he asked about going to Easter Island, that HVO had yet to set up an international teaching site there.

"So I went to Easter Island for two weeks in 2005, bringing disposable supplies, medication samples and educational materials, and I showed up at a hospital there. At first, they did not really know what to make of it," Dr. Brown says.

Appreciating U.S. riches

Before long, Dr. Brown was working with the only four doctors on Easter Island: a pediatrician, an obstetrician/gynecologist, an internist and a surgeon. He shared ideas about how they could integrate dermatology into their practices.

The locals were so appreciative of Dr. Brown's visit that many went to the airport to say goodbye. The experience, he says, reminded him that we often take basic things in the United States for granted.

"When doctors there take a biopsy, they have to send it to the mainland (Chile) and wait for a general pathologist (because there are no dermatopathologists in Chile) to read the slides and send them back. In New York, I send in a biopsy and have an answer the next day," he says.

"It was a very positive experience. I worked with HVO and AAD and submitted a proposal to have this become one of the accredited sites. It has been approved. The unfortunate part is that I have not been able to make it back to Easter Island to formally set it up," he says, because his practice and other pursuits back in New York have occupied him to an extent that a return visit has not been possible.

Diversity in work, play

Born in New York City and raised with a focus on language/international studies and music, Dr. Brown was educated at a French school and an international school and earned a degree in music. He continues to pursue these interests.

What's more, in addition to educating dermatology residents and leading colleagues in the area of practice development, he says he hopes to collaborate with HVO again in the near future.