Medical • Surgical • Cosmetic
In this issue of Everything Knoxville, we are especially excited to feature Southeastern Dermatology and their team of compassionate and caring medical professionals. First launched by board certified dermatologist, Dr. Matthew Doppelt, in 2003, Southeastern Dermatology has become one of East Tennessee’s most recognized leaders in the treatment of skin disorders and the enhancement of the skin with their state-of-the-art cosmetic dermatology services. Selected by working physicians in Knoxville’s medical community as one of Cityview Magazine’s Top Docs for 2016, Dr. Doppelt and his highly trained team of conscientious medical caregivers have earned Southeastern Dermatology a reputation for providing a level of care that you might have thought no longer existed in today’s medical marketplace.
Providing patient-focused treatment for all their patients, Southeastern Dermatology offers an extensive array of services in the fields of medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology. To help you become better acquainted with Southeastern Dermatology, we bring you this interview with Dr. Doppelt.
EK: Dr. Doppelt, tell our readers a little bit about your background, education, and training.
Dr. Doppelt: I was born and raised in central Illinois. My father was a pharmacist, which is how I was introduced to the healing power of medicine. I graduated from Southern Methodist University with a bachelor’s degree in biology. From there, I completed a special masters in physiology program at Georgetown University before earning my doctorate degree at Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Prior to my dermatology residency, I completed an internal medicine residency through a major teaching hospital affiliate of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, as well as Nova Southeastern University. It was during my internal medicine residency that I realized my true medical passion was for the practice of dermatology. To pursue this goal, I completed my dermatology residency through NSU and the North Broward Hospital District in Fort Lauderdale, where I had the honor of serving as Chief Resident during my third year.
Because fields of medicine, including dermatology, advance rapidly, I keep up to date with these advances by maintaining an active membership as a Fellow of the American Academy Dermatology and the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, in addition to regular participation in continuing educational seminars and hands-on training classes. I am also frequently accused of “geeking out,” as you are as likely to see me reading a medical journal as you are to see me reading Car and Driver (another passion).
EK: Many of our readers may not know the requirements to become a board certified dermatologist. You completed a three-year residency in dermatology after earning your medical degree, and you were also required to pass a board examination to become a board certified dermatologist. For individuals seeking dermatological treatment, why should your level of expertise be so important to them?
Dr. Doppelt: To become a board certified dermatologist, one must first complete four years of medical school. After medical school there is typically at least one year of a medical internship followed by three additional years of a dermatology residency. After completing an approved residency, a candidate must then sit for a certifying board exam. As you can see, there is extensive training after medical school required to obtain this specialty degree. This is precisely why individuals with dermatologic conditions should seek out a board certified dermatologist.
EK: Your patients repeatedly describe you as a compassionate and caring healthcare provider possessing an excellent “bedside manner.” Tell us about your passion for both medicine and your patients.
Dr. Doppelt: What first attracted me to medicine was the ability to serve people by helping to heal people. The knowledge that you can help relieve suffering or discomfort in patients brings me and my team a great deal of personal satisfaction. The practice of dermatology allows our team to do this while building relationships with each of our patients and their families. In a way, dermatology is unique in that the diseases we treat are often visible for others to see. For instance, it is both gratifying and humbling when you can treat a depressed psoriasis patient who is too embarrassed by their disease to go out in public. Working together with the patient, we help to restore not only their health, but their self-confidence as well, as they can once again enjoy going out in public in shorts and a t-shirt. They say thank you with their smiles. It’s more gratifying than I can express in words. We have instilled a unique culture of excellence at Southeastern Dermatology, where you will never be treated like a mere number, but rather as a member of our extended family.
EK: You recently became an adjunct professor at Lincoln Memorial University – Debusk College of Osteopathic Medicine. What does that mean for your patients?
Dr. Doppelt: In 1993, I was given the opportunity to pursue my dream of becoming a physician. I credit much of my success to the physicians who dedicated a portion of their time to teaching and mentoring the next generation of physicians. I feel a sense of responsibility to continue this fine tradition. The enthusiasm for learning that the medical students bring to both the classroom and our medical office is contagious. What this means to my patients is that from time to time, a medical student will be shadowing me in our office and the exam rooms. The staff always informs the patients when this is the case and asks for their permission for the student to participate. This offers both our team and our patients the opportunity to invest in the futures of these aspiring medical students. And no, our students are not offended if a patient declines.
EK: There are three distinct areas of dermatology services that Southeastern Dermatology offers – medical, surgical, and cosmetic. Briefly describe each.
Dr. Doppelt: One of the things I love about the practice of dermatology is that I never get bored because of the variety of conditions that I can treat. At Southeastern Dermatology, I have tried to create three centers of excellence – medical, surgical, and cosmetic. The medical center of excellence focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases of the skin, hair, and nails. Conditions may be as common as acne, rosacea, eczema, or hair loss, but they may also be uncommon and require a dermatologist to properly diagnose and treat the ailment. The evaluation of skin lesions for cancer is another important aspect of medical dermatology. The surgical center of excellence focuses on the excision of both cancerous and non-cancerous lesions with skillful reconstruction to minimize the appearance of scars. The cosmetic center of excellence focuses on providing customized treatments using the latest technological advanced treatment devices, procedures, and products. Because no two patients are alike, we avoid the “cookbook” approach to treatment which seldom provides optimal results, choosing instead to develop a treatment plan as unique as the patient.
EK: Let’s examine cosmetic dermatology more closely. What makes the cosmetic services offered at Southeastern Dermatology unique? You appear to be unique in that you are the only cosmetic dermatologist in the Greater Knoxville area. Why is that important, and how does that differentiate you from other practitioners offering cosmetic services?
Dr. Doppelt: Dermatology and plastic surgery are really the only two specialties of medicine that have aesthetics at the core of their training. As a cosmetic dermatologist, I have honed that requisite core training through years of experience, advanced training courses, and being mentored by some of the most respected cosmetic dermatologists and plastic surgeons in the nation. I have also assembled a talented, compassionate aesthetic team to support me in this endeavor. We have a full-time product educator and cosmetic coordinator, as well as a highly capable aesthetician. At Southeastern Dermatology, careful individualized treatment planning, skillful, artful, and precise execution, and continued engagement through followup combine to provide superior results and the greatest patient value.
EK: Is it true that you personally perform all cosmetic injections?
Dr. Doppelt: It may come as a shock to your readers, but there are more than 1,000,000 individuals who could legally perform cosmetic injections in the U.S. The question that individuals should ask is, “Who will be performing my injections?” It is because of my passion for cosmetic dermatology that I personally perform all of the cosmetic injectables in my office. I don’t believe that someone seeking cosmetic injections should select their treatment options based solely on price. In the field of cosmetic medicine, we call this “commoditization.” Looked at another way, we all have access to paint, but it takes an artist to create a masterpiece.
EK: Cosmetic dermatology is an area of medicine that is evolving rapidly. Talk about some of the newest technological advancements and state-of-the-art services and procedures you offer.
Dr. Doppelt: New tools for aesthetic enhancement are continuously being developed and brought to the marketplace. I consider it my responsibility to thoroughly research each of these opportunities and only provide those that I feel offer the greatest value and results to my patients. We now have a large variety of injectables available to our patients, and the understanding of their unique properties and characteristics is essential in recommending the appropriate products to achieve optimal outcomes for each patient. Some of the newest injectable products available include Volbella for fine lines and wrinkles and Kybella, which permanently destroys fat under the chin. Southeastern Dermatology is proud to have been selected as the exclusive provider of the Picosure Laser, which has revolutionized the process of tattoo removal. We are also the preeminent provider of Ultherapy in East Tennessee. This non-invasive procedure utilizes ultrasound to lift, tone, and tighten the skin on the face, neck, and chest. We also offer non-invasive body sculpting in the form of SculpSure, as well as minimally invasive laser assisted liposuction, better known as SmartLipo and SlimLipo. We offer many other medical devices and treatments as well to assist you in addressing any of your cosmetic concerns.
EK: Whether a patient is seeking a medical, surgical, or cosmetic procedure, having all of these service available through a single provider would appear to be in that patient’s best long-term interest.
Dr. Doppelt: I whole heartedly agree. There is considerable overlap between the various facets of dermatology. Many of my medical patients go on to become surgical and cosmetic patients. Conversely, I have had numerous patients come in for a cosmetic procedure and during my assessment discover a skin cancer. I have even found two melanomas on BOTOX® patients. Fortunately, they were both early melanomas, which I was able to excise. We can now joke with the patient that “BOTOX® may have saved their life.”
EK: Provide our readers with some details on your new facility.
Dr. Doppelt: I moved to Knoxville in November 2003 and started my practice on the campus of Baptist Hospital in downtown Knoxville. As Baptist initiated consolidation plans, we elected to move our practice to its current location. I remember moving into the current location thinking that was all the medical space that we would ever need. However, the response from our patients to our unique approach of the practice of dermatology has led to growth that exceeded our most optimistic expectations. The opportunity to build a new office with about twice the square footage of the current office presented itself last year, and we should be able to relocate in to our new home in April 2017. The new office, which is adjacent to our existing facility, will be even more technically advanced, yet remain warm and inviting. We are already making plans to expand our centers of medical, surgical, and cosmetic excellence.
EK: In closing, is there anything you would like to add or say to our readers?
Dr. Doppelt: It is a great privilege to serve the dermatologic needs of the people of Knoxville. The growth of Southeastern Dermatology is really in thanks to our patients. The majority of new patients coming into the office are through personal referral. I often tell patients that the best compliment they can pay our team is to refer a family member or friend. If you have any medical, surgical, or cosmetic dermatology needs, I would like to personally invite you to discover the caring difference we offer at Southeastern Dermatology. Have a happy, healthy New Year!
1924 Pinnacle Pointe Way, Suite 300
Knoxville, TN 37922