Global dermatology - a trainee's perspective

Global dermatology awareness is important for the trainee dermatologist and dermatologist alike, encompassing public health and tropical medicine domains and demonstrating parallels with endemic public health issues within our own indigenous communities.
Within the global dermatology domain, I was fortunate enough to obtain a brief insight into a project close to home and the ongoing life project of one of my colleagues Dr Whitfeld, who facilitated a visit to Tamavua Hospital, Fiji.
Propelled by an interest in public health and tropical medicine, a brief foray during my training provided insight into rare and advanced disease not encountered in clinical practice before; advanced leprosy, albinism (their attendant cutaneous malignancy risk), along with disseminated cutaneous infections. My visit highlighted the core foundations of clinical practice in a resource poor setting and the simplicity with which the health care system operates upon in terms of diagnostics and management. Most striking, was the tangible appreciation of the patients for the medical care received and the genuine enthusiasm and willingness of the medical staff to learn, collaborate and share information.
A global perspective is key to being a rounded dermatologist with an appreciation for the bigger issues beyond our immediate clinical practice, and hopefully may translate to a willingness to contribute to efforts regarding delivery of service, resources and assistance with the establishment of local dermatology training programs within these communities.
Scope to incorporate a global perspective in one’s dermatology sphere of practice is an invaluable asset to one’s training and practice as a dermatologist.

Dr. Annika Smith