Dr. Alma Aimoldina, MD (Kazakhstan)
Mentor: Dr. Nellie Konnikov, MD
Boston, Massachusetts, US 2018
Being selected as the first ISD mentorship awardee from Kazakhstan was a great honor and fabulous experience for Dr. Alma Aimoldina. The two months of training with her mentor, Dr. Nellie Konnikov, at the VA Healthcare System in Boston provided her with the opportunity to gain an enormous amount of knowledge and to enhance her diagnostic abilities.
As a young professional, Dr. Aimoldina was very excited to receive training in skin biopsy techniques, medical dermatology, and dermatopathology given that she wanted to master these important skills and to incorporate them into her future practice. As an Instructor in the Department of Dermatovenereology at Astana Medical University, she also benefited by becoming familiar with the innovative methods and techniques employed in medical education in the U.S. She plans to utilize them when teaching her students in Kazakhstan.
She enjoyed learning about suturing techniques after punch biopsies, which represented a new skill for her. In addition, Dr. Konnikov arranged for her to attend a weekly session with Dr. Meera Mahalingham and the dermatology residents. She studied the histologic features of various skin tumors, including melanocytic nevi, cutaneous melanomas and hemangiomas.
Dr. Aimoldina also practiced medical dermatology with both residents and nurse practitioners. Under the guidance of Drs. Daniel Loo and Stephanie Liu, she examined patients with common skin problems such as warts, acne, seborrheic keratoses, and dermatitis. Every third Wednesday of the month, she participated in the Dermatology Grand Rounds, which she found to be very impressive. Dr. Aimoldina witnessed how the residents were taught to perform accurate differential diagnoses and be responsible for their clinical decisions.
Under the personal supervision of Dr. Konnikov, she assisted in multiple procedures, including injections, laser therapy of telangiectasias, tattoo removal, and facial volume restoration. On Wednesdays, she also observed complex surgical procedures, thanks to Dr. Emily Ruiz. Lastly, Dr. Aimoldina was able to present “Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus” and “Androgenetic Alopecia”, where she outlined the major aspects of these skin disorders.
“Receiving the ISD Mentorship Award allowed me to grow professionally and I will be forever thankful to Prof. Konnikov personally and the ISD Mentorship Committee.” -- Dr. Alma Aimoldina