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Tales From the Office: A Resident Shares Her Inspiration

It’s interesting where you find inspiration.

Being a dermatology resident I learn about different conditions and rare infections to stay up to date and prepare for the rigorous Board exam.

I always was thinking…”oh, we will never will see those rare things in our practice”. I learned about leprosy back in medical school and was fascinated about various presentations of this infection and how it can influence people’s quality of life. Once, being just in the first month of my residency in Brooklyn, a patient with no distal phalanges of the fingers entered my room. He reported he was from Guayana and was cooking in the open fire in the jungles and couldn’t feel his fingers. He also had foot drop and hypopigmented macules in the trunk with diminished sensation. Luckily we were able to find Mycobacteria leprae in the biopsy and start him early on the specific therapy. That was a wonderful example of how knowledge we acquire during our education may help us to cure rare and serious infections and make a difference. Proud to be a dermatologist!