Dermatology as a medical and research discipline in the United States had its start in the late 1800s, but it wasn’t until the 1930s that it established a presence at the UW. Several years later, faculty member Dr. Frederic E. Mohs broke ground by initiating his new micrographic surgery, also called the Mohs procedure, which is now used internationally. Ever since, faculty at the UW have continued to pioneer health standards—like the SPF system—that affect our daily lives. Read about the history of dermatology as a medical discipline, and about its development at History and Development.
15 Year Report: 15 Years and Rising” (PDF, 2017)
10 Year Report: “Touching Lives” (PDF, 2012)
5 Year Report: “Bridging the Past to the Future” (PDF, 2007)
Development of Dermatology in the US
Dr. Otto Forester and Dr. Macintosh are dermatologists in the Department of Medicine under Dr. William S. Middleton.
Dr. Fred Mohs opens his first clinic for micrographic surgery at UW-Madison as a subspecialist in the Department of Medicine at the recommendation of Dean Middleton, head of cancer research.
Michael R. Hetzer delivered historical presentations covering the work of Dr. Frederic E. Mohs and Mohs Histotechnology in 2010 (click links to download PDFs of the presentations).
Dr. Sture A. M. Johnson is recruited by Dean Middleton as Professor and Chief of the newly established Division of Dermatology in the Department of Medicine.
A one year residency begins at UW-Madison with the second and third years at the University of Michigan.
UW Dermatology Residency Program is accredited by ACGME, predating programs at Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State, Rush, Southern Illinois and Wayne State.
Dr. Derek J. Cripps joins the Division of Dermatology.
Dr. Cripps constructs a High Intensity Prism Grating Monochromator and Solar Simulator to study photosensitivity. Dr. Cripps is awarded an NIH grant to study photodermatoses. The grant continues until 1986 and studies 392 patients.
Dr. Cripps initiates numerous NIH studies that lead to the development of the SPF system.
Dr. Mohs retires having treated thousands of patients, and training hundreds of physicians in his method leaving his trainees; Drs. Paul O. Larson and Stephen N. Snow to carry on his work.
UW Medical Foundation and Physicians Plus merge but their clinical practices remain largely independent of each other.
Dr. Wood is recruited as Professor and Chair-Designee of the planned Department of Dermatology and is named the Geneva F. and Sture Johnson Professor of Dermatology.
Dermatology sets the precedent at UW as a completely integrated practice of academic and clinically oriented faculty including the former Physicians Plus dermatologists.
Dr. Hasan Mukhtar is recruited to develop the lab research program as Director of Research and is named the Evan P. Helfaer Professor.
The ACGME approves the UW combined Medicine-Dermatology Residency and the first resident begins the combined program. This is the largest of only four combined programs in the country.
The Department places 19th out of 37 Dermatology research programs ranked by the NIH in the department’s first appearance in the rankings.
The UW internal review committee approves the Procedural Dermatology Fellowship.
UWMF opens Transformations- a center for cosmetic procedures with Dermatology’s participation.
The Cripps Endowment for Dermatologic Research is established by the faculty.
Department is awarded its first T32 grant.
Basic research program moves to newly renovated space at the Medical Sciences Building once again bringing all the basic science researchers to an integrated space.
Department established the Frederic E Mohs Endowment for Skin and Cancer Research and the Derek J Cripps Endowment for Skin and Cancer Research.
Integrated Dermatology course developed to ensure dermatology education for all 2nd year University of Wisconsin medical Students.
First four doctoral students graduate.
Department of Dermatology is ranked 8th in the country for NIH dermatology research.
Department of Dermatology Earns National Institutes of Health – Skin Disease Research Center Grant
Dr. Drolet is appointed Chair for The Department of Dermatology, Geneva F. and Sture Johnson Distinguished Chair.
Development of Dermatology in the US
The first department of Dermatology in the USA was established at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1800s. Throughout the following century, Dermatology programs were established across the country as extensions of Internal Medicine. In the last several decades, there has been an increasing emphasis on surgical techniques so that now approximately one half of all dermatologic visits involve surgical procedures. As Dermatology evolved into a distinct discipline of cutaneous medicine and surgery, academic programs increasingly achieved departmental status to the extent that now approximately two-thirds of all Dermatology training programs exist in departments of Dermatology. Among top ranking research medical schools, this proportion is even higher. For example, Dermatology is a department at all of the following schools: Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Penn, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, UCSF, Michigan, Case Western Reserve, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Alabama, Baylor, Texas Southwestern, Minnesota, Colorado, Albert Einstein, Iowa, Rochester, NYU and Cornell. In the Midwest these include Minnesota, Mayo Clinic, Medical College of Wisconsin, Iowa, Northwestern, Illinois, Rush, Michigan and Indiana. In July 2002 Dermatology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison also became a department.
In addition to the standard three-year dermatology residency that follows a clinical internship, there are fellowships available for dermatologists in the following areas: dermatopathology, pediatric dermatology, dermatologic/Mohs surgery, dermatologic cosmetic surgery, dermatopharmacology, cutaneous oncology and immunodermatology. There is also a combined 5-year internship/residency in Dermatology and Internal Medicine and the newest ACGME approved fellowship program is in Procedural Dermatology. A similar program is anticipated that will lead to double board-certification in Dermatology and Pediatrics. At UW-Madison we offer a three year residency in General Dermatology following the clinical internship. There is an optional fourth year. We also offer a five year Medicine-Dermatology residency and a one year Procedural Dermatology fellowship encompassing Mohs and other dermatologic procedures.
As a consequence of this century-long evolution, Dermatology has become a well-defined discipline in terms of medical school curricula, residency training, scholarly research and clinical practice. This has been reflected by the concomitant growth of professional societies, journals, specialty boards, government agencies and funding organizations that focus specifically on dermatologists and the research and treatment of skin diseases. These developments are all indicators that Dermatology has “come of age.”