Mentorship Program Vishal Gupta

Dr. Vishal Gupta

Mentor: Dedee Murrell, MD

St George Hospital and Premiere Specialists, Sydney

Major goals for your mentorship experience: I have a keen interest in complex medical dermatology, bullous disorders and genodermatoses, which is why I applied for mentorship with Prof Dedee Murrell. I wanted to gain experience with the latest advances and current best clinical practice regarding biologics and novel small molecules in the management of inflammatory skin diseases. It was also a networking opportunity with the world's leading expert in immunobullous disorders and epidermolysis bullosa.

What did you like best about your mentorship experience?: It was an opportunity to see a vastly different public healthcare system that lends itself to a different approach to treating inflammatory skin diseases, where conventional immunosuppressants have given way to biologics and JAK inhibitors which can lead to long disease free periods. I was impressed by the meticulous patient data and photographic record keeping, complete with disease severity and QOL scorings. I also got a chance to read some antigen mapping slides of EB patients.

Describe any special experiences with your mentor: My visit was full of memorable experiences, but the one that stood out was a weekend visit to Prof Murrell’s river house. We enjoyed delicious food, boat rides, and kayaking. It was a wonderful bonding experience and a peek into the life of affluent Aussies!

Describe a skill acquired during your mentorship that you will definitely use when you return home: I got a chance to observe first-hand how long-term digital patient data records were maintained routinely for all patients. Though it may not be feasible to replicate it immediately back home, over time I may be able to adapt a similar system of digital patient data record keeping.

How will your mentorship experience impact your patient care and professional goals over the next year?: It was inspiring to hear Prof Murrell’s life journey and observe her guiding her fellows and medical students through quality research projects, while having a busy clinical practice. It has given impetus to my professional research goals in the field of bullous disorders. The mentorship experience has broadened my outlook towards the science and art of dermatology which I hope to translate into my clinical practice.

How will your mentorship experience make an impact five years from now, including for your region or country?: The ISD mentorship has given me an opportunity to foster a professional relationship with Prof Murrell, which opens up a variety of networking and research collaboration opportunities with international experts in the future.

Share a pearl you learned during your mentorship experience: Prof Murrell took an excellent lecture on EB which made the complex topic of genotype-phenotype correlation easy to understand. I also discussed an unusual case of suspected EB with her, and she gave me a few leads on how to proceed further.

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