It was 3 years ago that I expressed my enthusiasm in joining the Department of Dermatology at the University of Florida. Since that time my enthusiasm is unbridled as we continued to grow and we now have, 16 faculty, 13 residents, 1 Dermatopathology fellow, 1 Mohs Fellow, 1 Interdisciplinary Dermatitis Fellow and a support staff of over 50 fantastic and dedicated people that continue to make us a strong presence in the UF College of Medicine and north central Florida through their commitments and hard work. The department truly provides patient centered care with over 35,000 yearly office visits, 1,600 Mohs surgeries. The Dermatopathology Division which is amongst one of the largest (by volume) of academic dermatopathology programs in the country continues to grow and will now have 5 full time dermatopathologists.
Home for the department continues to be within the Springhill Medical Office Building, located in the north central Florida community of Gainesville with easy access to the Interstate 75 freeway. The Gainesville facility occupies the entire fourth floor, which has dedicated clinic space of 18,613 sq. ft. and academic space of 5,290 sq. ft. The department has hosted dermatology programs from other institutions wishing to learn more about our modern facility. The Springhill location supports all types of dermatology care including general dermatology (25 exam rooms), procedural dermatology/Mohs (9 procedural rooms), UVA & B (2 rooms), cosmetic dermatology, and pediatric dermatology.
The department also recognizes the importance of skin care for overall well- being and has invested in cosmetic dermatology through the acquisition of 7 lasers including the Candela Gentle Yag, Candela Alex Trivantage, Candela Vbeam, Palomar Vectus, Palomar Icon, CO2RE, and excimer lasers. Recently we added Platelet Rich Plasma and Microneedling capabilities as well. This makes the cosmetic division one of the most well equipped cosmetic clinics in the region to further the interests and developments of faculty, residents and patients alike. In addition, we house our own dermatopathology laboratory equipped with a new Sakura automated stainer, cover slipper, VIP tissue processor, S Express 50 tissue processor, and Sakura Tissue-Tek embedding center in addition to a Roche Ventana Benchmark Ultra, and Benchmark Special Stainer. Recently we have added an Immunostainer to help round out our services.
Our new additional training/clinical facility is located in Jacksonville, Florida, near the popular St. Johns Town Center, in close proximity to Jacksonville Beach and in the one of the fastest growing areas in the city. The Jacksonville facility has a dedicated clinical space of over 4,000 sq. ft. and is supported by two faculty members and a physician assistant dedicated to the highest standards of academic dermatology. Services include general dermatology, surgical dermatology, including Mohs, UVA & B light therapy and PDT treatments.
Finally, let me state how special it is to be part of The University of Florida family with it’s recognition as a Top 5 Public University. The University of Florida is one of six land grant universities in the nation to host all disciplines of the university in one geographic location enabling a variety of research opportunities such as the unique opportunity for strong collaboration with the UF College of Veterinary Medicine in the area of atopic dermatitis.
As the Chair, I continue to focus on the latest medical developments as we train the next generation of dermatologists to serve our community and will be adding Non-Invasive imaging capabilities such as Confocal Microscopy and Total Body Imaging for skin cancer. The latter together with a reorganized skin cancer tumor board, new transplant dermatology clinic and contact dermatitis clinic should move us significantly along in the desired direction and provide new services for our medical community. Yet, as I mentioned last year, John Donne said”, No Man Is An Island”. It requires a dedication and effort by the entire team in the department and the support of our alumni so we can leave a lasting legacy. For, in the end, it is about our patients and how we can better their lives.
Abel Torres, M.D., J.D., M.B.A.
Professor & Chair
Department of Dermatology
University of Florida, College of Medicine