By John Carruthers, assistant editor, June 02, 2014
After a long and successful career at the University of Pennsylvania, dermatologist Rudolf Roth, MD, contemplated retirement. But it wasn’t for very long, he said, as he quickly decided that he loved dermatology and teaching too much to leave it behind. Instead, Dr. Roth became involved overseas, training both American and overseas residents in dermatology and fostering international partnerships between his institution and dermatology organizations worldwide.
- "Going to other countries feeds my spirit of adventure, and it's rewarding to be able to bring research, education, and patient care to a global population."
- Following trips to Botswana, Haiti, and other underserved locales, Dr. Roth has recently focused his educational efforts on Guatemala, developing a relationship between Penn and the Guatemala City residency program run by the INDERMA institute for dermatology.
- Dr. Roth refers to his work with INDERMA as a joint jornada, a Spanish term that he says doesn’t have a perfect English translation, but which entails a group effort to deliver care to a specific patient population.
- One of Dr. Roth’s first trips involved a week’s engagement providing education to INDERMA residents and surgery to patients at Hospitalito Atitlan in Santiago Atitln. The hospital, located on a lake in the Guatemalan highlands, serves over 75,000 indigenous Mayans.
- “On the last day of our trip, the whole group of physicians and residents went back to INDERMA and one of the residents that came with us had a presentation of all the interesting cases that we had seen,” Dr. Roth said. “You see cases far more advanced than in places that have dermatology access, and conditions that residents normally don’t experience.”
- In addition to coordinating and participating in trips to Guatemala, Dr. Roth has also set up a fund that helps sponsor two INDERMA residents each year to travel to Penn and participate in a rotation.
- To honor his contribution to dermatology in Guatemala, INDERMA named Dr. Roth an honorary professor at the program’s latest graduation dinner.
- “Training residents this way enhances their dermatology experience, both for our residents and the residents from other countries,” Dr. Roth said.
To nominate a physician, visit www.aad.org/membersmakingadifference.