Dr. Indrashis Podder, MD (India)
Mentor: Dr. Thomas Ruzicka, MD
Munich, Germany. 2018
Feeling extremely fortunate to have been chosen for the prestigious ISD Mentorship Program, Dr. Indrashis Podder of India selected to hone his dermatology skills under global mentor Professor Thomas Ruzicka at Ludwig Maximillian University in Munich, Germany. Dr. Podder appreciated the guidance of Professor Rashmi Sarkar (India), who was kind enough to offer her assistance in obtaining this mentorship experience.
Greatly impressed by the dermatology department’s seven-story building dedicated to dermatology (something quite unthinkable in his part of the world), Dr. Podder noted that all types of dermatologic disorders are managed here -- from inflammatory disorders and infectious diseases to vascular disorders, complex drug reactions and cutaneous malignancies. Interestingly, in Germany, all forms of skin cancer, venous disorders and allergic disorders, including milder cases of asthma, are managed by dermatologists. In India, Dr. Podder explained that these patients are referred to oncologists, surgeons and internists, respectively, after the initial diagnosis. Unlike in India, there is no department dedicated to leprosy here -- as it has been almost eradicated from this region of the world.
In the separate sub-departments dedicated to oncology, phlebology and allergy, Dr. Podder observed how both evaluation and various forms of treatments are provided, including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy, laser ablation of varicose veins, and desensitization. He was also impressed by the center’s unique ability to detect allergens and pollens in the air each day, with results announced on the local radio. In addition, there are specialized clinics dedicated to STIs, psoriasis and hair.
Diagnostic procedures ranged from more simple prick, patch and intracutaneous tests to more complex basophil and T-lymphocyte activation tests to sophisticated genetic analysis and confocal microscopy. The dermatologic surgery department deserves special mention, as they perform lymph node dissections in addition to excisions of cutaneous malignancies followed by various forms of reconstruction, including flaps. Dr. Podder learned a lot from all the members of the faculty, especially the finer nuances of managing dermatologic conditions. He also attended the daily case presentations, where he learned about uncommon presentations of skin diseases. Besides the education, Dr. Podder really enjoyed the charming and historic city of Munich, especially its one-of-a-kind Oktoberfest!
“This mentorship has been one of the best learning opportunities I have had in my career. My time in this extraordinary center will always, in the future, inspire me to be a better dermatologist. I tried to imbibe the maximum amount of knowledge from my stay here, and I intend to apply it holistically for the benefit of my native country and my patients.” -- Dr. Indrashis Podder