Dr. Jamaine Melisse Cruz-Regalado, MD (Philippines)
Mentor: Dr. Dedee Murrell, MD
Sydney, Australia. 2019
I was ecstatic to receive the news that I was granted a mentorship program with Professor Dedée Murrell. My mentorship program began this past January at St. George Hospital in Sydney, Australia. On my very first day, I was formally introduced to the staff of the Department of Dermatology at the hospital and at her private clinic. It was there where I met several dermatologists from other countries, dermatology residents, and medical students. They were to become my daily companions in what would be a 3-month educational journey.
My major goal was to acquire more knowledge regarding the evaluation and management of blistering diseases. I am completely fascinated by blistering diseases, which is the reason why I applied for a mentorship with Professor Murrell. Fortunately, she had a trove of such cases, including in her day-long bullous clinic held every fortnight. St. George Hospital was also well-equipped to diagnose and treat these patients. One notable experience was being able to observe antigen mapping of skin from EB patients. I also enjoyed learning how to approach complex medical dermatology as I was able to see patients with rare diseases such as Papillon-Lefèvre syndrome and Behçet disease as well as unusual blistering diseases.
I also gained experience in the use of biologic agents for patients with autoimmune blistering diseases, and other diseases such as psoriasis, urticaria, atopic dermatitis, and hidradenitis suppurativa. Aside from improving the care of my patients, I will be able to expose my colleagues to these new therapies via consultations and lectures. After all, this training was really for the betterment of our patients in the Philippines and for the continued evolution of Philippine Dermatology.
At this early point in my career, I can only hope to make an impact on Philippine Dermatology over the 5-10 years. Although the cost of advanced therapies such as biologic agents is a foreseeable obstacle in my country, if I can make physicians and patients more aware of their long-term benefits, then noise for their accessibility might eventually reach the proper ears.
I am very thankful to the ISD for giving me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I hope this program continues to give practicing and aspiring dermatologists the chance to learn more and experience more within the field of dermatology. I am very appreciative of the Australian dermatologists who helped me all throughout my mentorship program and who made me feel so welcome. Lastly, I am forever grateful to the esteemed and honorable Professor Dedée Murrell, who taught me everything she could in my 3-month mentorship. This mentorship will greatly help me in my career.