By John Carruthers, assistant editor, February 03, 2014
Dermatologist David F. Butler, MD, has long been a proponent of free care and screenings for patients in his community. During his early days volunteering, he was the only dermatologist in his area able to donate specialist care for those in need. Today, he continues to participate in skin cancer screening events and puts in regular work at the free clinic near his Temple, Texas practice.
"I choose to volunteer my time because I have been given so much. I've always felt the need to repay it in some form."
- Dr. Butler volunteers at the Temple Free Clinic, providing dermatologic care to indigent patients, as well as those whose jobs do not pay well enough to provide for regular care.
- In the early late 1980s and early ’90s, Dr. Butler was the only dermatologist in El Paso, Texas, volunteering for the American Academy of Dermatology’s Annual Skin Cancer Screening. He has now participated in the event every year since 1988.
- “During one screening, I saw 179 patients by myself,” Dr. Butler said. “That was a long day.”
- Dr. Butler helped start the dermatology residency program at Scott & White Memorial Hospital, a teaching hospital affiliated with Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. He put in, by his count, well over 100 hours of unpaid time getting it off the ground.
- “The residency is doing quite well now,” he said. “Every one of the 20 graduates since our first graduation in 2005 has passed the certifying exam.”
- In addition to his work locally, Dr. Butler is the immediate past president of the Texas Dermatologic Society, and serves as a member of the Academy’s Council on Education and Maintenance of Certification. He is also the Academy representative to the Council of Medical Specialty Societies.
To nominate a physician, visit www.aad.org/membersmakingadifference.