Dr. Ana Claudia Esposito, MD (Brazil)
Mentor: Dr. Anthony Benedetto, MD
Pennsylvania, USA 2019
Major goals for your mentorship experience: My major goals were to improve my surgical skills and to become more confident in the Mohs surgical technique. I also had the opportunity to learn about new lasers and their applications.
What did you like best about your mentorship experience?: This internship was a period of intense learning in general, surgical and cosmetic dermatology. I appreciated being part of the team and having interactions with the whole staff. In addition to learning about reconstruction of complex surgical defects, I expanded my knowledge regarding healing by second intention and the use of placental graft tissue and xenografts.
Describe any special experiences with your mentor: I participated in discussions of both scientific and clinical articles and the interpretation of histologic sections related to Mohs micrographic surgery. I also accompanied Dr. Benedetto to a local hospital where dermatology residents are supervised while performing excisions of cutaneous tumors and surgical reconstructions.
Describe a skill acquired during your mentorship that you will definitely use when you return home: For the first time, I observed the use of Mohs surgery with immunohistochemical staining to remove a cutaneous melanoma. Moreover, I had the opportunity to become familiar with the new biological therapies for psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, which are not yet available in Brazil. In the field of cosmetic dermatology, I learned new techniques for fillers and collagen biostimulators that I had not used before.
How will your mentorship experience impact your patient care and professional goals over the next year?: After my mentorship program, I became more confident in performing the Mohs surgical technique such that I decided to buy a cryostat machine for my office, which is located in a region of the country where there are no other dermatologists providing Mohs micrographic surgery.
How will your mentorship experience make an impact five years from now, including for your region or country?: I collaborate with two universities in the state of São Paulo and I plan to implement Mohs micrographic surgery in both of them. In both institutions, the dermatology department chiefs have expressed an interest in introducing this technique for the surgical treatment of skin cancer.
Share a pearl you learned during your mentorship experience: The total body skin examination is the key to diagnosing early skin cancers and the patients need to understand its importance. Making this exam a routine part of patient visits is my goal.