SPOTLIGHT on Leslie S. Baumann, M.D.
Dr. Leslie Baumann is the Chief of the Division of Cosmetic Dermatology and an Associate Professor at the University of Miami School of Medicine in Miami, FL. She also heads the University of Miami Cosmetic Center, which is the first university-operated center dedicated to cosmetic dermatology in the United States.
Dr. Baumann earned her medical degree from Baylor University in Houston, TX, and completed her residency at the University of Miami School of Medicine. She writes a monthly column, “Cosmeceutical Critique,” for Skin and Allergy News, and she published the textbook Cosmetic Dermatology: Principles and Practice and more recently The Skin Type Solution: A Revolutionary Guide to Your Best Skin Ever. In addition, she is an editorial board member for Skin & Aging.
Dr Baumann is involved in many clinical research trials and works with many leading cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies, as well as training international dermatologists who are interested in expanding their cosmetic dermatology skills.
Q. Are an understanding and appreciation for the humanities important in dermatology?
A. An appreciation for beauty and facial structures that are considered beautiful are very important in cosmetic dermatology. Dermal fillers allow you to feel like a sculptor. I find myself studying facial sculptures in museums to look for ways to enhance facial beauty.
Q. Which patient has had the most effect on your work, and why?
A. They all touch me in some way. Patients with severe melasma touch me the most. They are so much more confident when we clear their skin.
Q. What is the best piece of advice you have received, and from whom?
A. Dr. Francisco Kerdel said, “When something goes wrong or turns out bad, it is okay as long as you learned from it.” He also says, “Walter Peyton achieved the all-time football rushing record by averaging 3 yards per carry. You do not have to make a touchdown every time; just be consistent and it will pay off.”
Dr. Vincent Falanga told me: “The biggest challenge in clinical trials research is to remain objective. You must at all times remember to remain objective and unbiased. Constantly remind yourself of this.”
Dr. William Eaglstein taught me that I should be able to cite a published reference for everything that comes out of my mouth. If it has not been proven, but it is an opinion, state it as such, rather than as a fact.
As you can see, I have had fabulous mentors! I thank all of them. My advice to others is to listen to those ahead of you. They can really teach you a lot and save you from repeating their errors.
Q. What do you think is the greatest political danger to the field of dermatology?
A. Physician assistants and nurse practitioners being allowed to do what we are trained to do. Also, dermatologists who intentionally promote products that they know do not work hurt all of us by putting into question our credibility.