Dr. Sherzod Khonkhodjaev, MD (Uzbekistan)
Mentor: Dr. Helmut Beltraminelli, MD
Bern, Switzerland. 2018
First, I want to express my gratitude to the whole International Society of Dermatology team
and to the ISD mentorship program, which provided the fantastic opportunity of a
fellowship experience in Dermatopathology at the Department of Dermatology, Inselspital
Bern University Hospital, Switzerland.
During these 2 months, I had the opportunity to observe and work with a highly specialized
dermatopathology team under the supervision of my mentor Dr. Helmut Beltraminelli from
whom I learned many lessons.
My daily activities included the study of more than 100 slides at the multihead microscope with one of the dermatopathologists (Drs. H. Beltraminelli, R. Blum, or L. Feldmeyer). During these sessions, I was able to discuss various skin diseases and how to establish the diagnosis in difficult cases. This process was facilitated by the fact that everybody discussed ideas freely and encouraged me to share my opinions. I also learned several useful clinical “pearls” that Dr. Beltraminelli gathered during his career.
In addition, I saw the histology of many skin lymphomas and other cutaneous tumors including melanocytic, epithelial, and adnexal, which are very rare in my practice. Dr. Beltraminelli also taught me the immunohistochemical diagnostic criteria for different types of skin lymphomas as well as other tumors. This helped me to clarify details regarding these conditions and to make useful comparisons between diagnostic approaches in Uzbekistan versus Switzerland. Moreover, given my interest in immunohistochemistry, I visited the dermatopathology laboratory and learned different staining techniques, in particular immunochemical procedures.
Every Monday I attended the interactive dermatopathology seminars for residents organized by Dr. Beltraminelli. It was a teaching session based on clinico-pathologic correlation. These sessions helped me to improve my skills regarding morphology, especially the interpretation of images.
I also regularly attended the weekly departmental meetings where all the clinical dermatologists discuss difficult or teaching cases, along with clinico-pathological presentations.
Overall, I am very thankful to Prof. Luca Borradori, my mentor Dr. Helmut Beltraminelli, and all of their colleagues who took part in my mentorship, making my stay and assimilation easier and my knowledge greater.
In conclusion, I believe that these two months of studying dermatopathology at the Bern University Hospital will have a very positive impact on my medical career.
-Sherzod Khonkhodjaev, MD