The American Academy of Dermatology has honored board-certified dermatologist Abby Van Voorhees, MD, FAAD, as a Patient Care Hero for her leadership at the Rapid Access Clinic at the Eastern Virginia Medical School Dermatology Practice in Norfolk, Va.
Patients can walk in without an appointment each weekday to see a dermatologist for an immediate concern like a rash or new or changing mole. Norfolk resident Kate Gleason walked into the clinic with a rash, which a dermatologist examined and biopsied. She was diagnosed with eczema and prescribed topical and oral treatments, and with continued treatment remains symptom-free.
Gleason had recently moved to the area.
I didn't have a local dermatologist. The Eastern Virginia Medical School Dermatology practice allows anyone with a skin condition to walk in and be seen immediately. If the clinic hadn't offered walk-in appointments, I might have gone to a convenient care clinic, where I don't think I would have gotten the same level of care and expertise."
Experts say patients benefit from early detection of skin conditions and quick treatment. Early diagnosis is critical for many dermatologic conditions, such as melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer. If melanoma is detected early, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent.
If melanoma spreads to other organs, the five-year survival rate drops to 23 percent. Research shows those survival outcomes can be even worse in patients with skin of color as they are often diagnosed at a later stage.
"Patients with a new or changing skin condition are often worried, uncomfortable and in pain," Dr. Van Voorhees said. "By offering walk-in visits every day, our team can quickly diagnosis and treat skin conditions so patients can be symptom free and return to their day-to-day routines."
The AAD created the Patient Care Heroes program to recognize physicians who transform patients' lives by utilizing their expertise and collaborating with other physicians to treat serious skin disease.
"Because so many skin conditions appear without warning or change rapidly, it is critical for patients to see a board-certified dermatologist," said board-certified dermatologist George J. Hruza, MD, MBA, FAAD, president of the AAD. "Dr. Van Voorhees' clinic is a good example of how doctors can offer quick and accurate quality care, providing peace of mind and immediate treatment."