Physician's Profile: Quest for excellence: Busy doctor follows in footsteps of parents, grandfather

May 1, 2009

Charles E. Crutchfield III, M.D., seemed destined for a career in medicine. His mother, Susan, a family practitioner, was the first black female - and youngest, at age 23 - to graduate from the University of Minnesota Medical School, in 1963. His father, Charles II, is a nationally recognized obstetrician-gynecologist.

Even Dr. Crutchfield's grandfather, Charles I, was a doctor of sorts.

Not only did the dermatologist follow in his family's successful footsteps, but he has made a name for himself. In the past few years, he and his practice have been honored, recognized and referred to for dermatologic expertise, teaching, patriotism and practice management.

Practice management

Dr. Crutchfield is the sole dermatologist and physician in a practice with about 40 full- and part-time employees. His was the first dermatology practice to implement electronic medical records (EMRs) in Minnesota, and he was one of the first in the United States to offer WiFi in the reception area.

"We specialize in ethnic skin concerns, atopic eczema, acne, vitiligo, psoriasis and cosmetic dermatology. We have a phototherapy center, two medical spas, and are considered one of the leading cosmetic dermatology practices in Minnesota," he says.

"Seventy-five percent of my practice is medical dermatology, and 25 percent is cosmetic dermatology. Between these entities we often schedule more than 150 patients in a day," Dr. Crutchfield tells Dermatology Times.

That breaks down to as many as 48 patient encounters for each four-hour clinic for Dr. Crutchfield. The rest of the patients go to the practice's phototherapy center, nursing clinic and medical spas.

Dr. Crutchfield also does laser surgery, having performed more than 10,000 laser procedures throughout the last 10 years.

All this is possible, he says, because of the way he runs his practice.

"It is the way I think all dermatology practices should be run. It maximizes the dermatologist's expertise and skills. If I had to do it the way I used to do it, I think I would probably leave medicine," he says.