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A Conversation With Roy G. Geronemus, MD

A Conversation With Roy G. Geronemus, MD

Dr GeronemusA board-certified cosmetic dermatologist, Dr Geronemus is the director of the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York. After graduating from Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) for his undergraduate degree, Dr Geronemus pursued his medical education and training at the University of Miami School of Medicine in Florida. He then trained in dermatology at the New York University (NYU) Medical Center, where he served as chief resident and later completed a fellowship in Mohs micrographic surgery and cutaneous oncology. 

Dr Geronemus currently is a clinical professor of dermatology at NYU Medical Center; there he served for 9 years as the chief of dermatology and laser surgery and founded its laser program. In addition, he is also a past president of American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) and the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery (ASLMS). Currently, Dr Geronemus serves as the chairman of the board for the New York Stem Cell Foundation.

His outstanding work in dermatology, surgery, and lasers has not gone unnoticed by his peers. Dr Geronemus received the Ellet H. Drake Memorial Award for his contributions to laser medicine as well as the Leon Goldman Memorial Award for excellence in clinical laser research, both from the ASLMS, in 2001 and 2006, respectively. For his distinguished service and contributions to the goals of the ASDS, Dr Geronemus was awarded the Samuel J. Stegman, MD, Award in 2013. The University of Miami School of Medicine has added Dr Geronemus to its alumni Hall of Fame. The Vascular Birthmark Foundation awarded him with the Physician of the Year honor in 2008 and later their Humanitarian Award in 2014. Most recently in October 2019, he received the inaugural Vic Narurkar, MD, Innovations In Aesthetic Dermatology Lectureship from the ASDS.

Dr Geronemus has published more than 300 articles, chapters, and books to advance medicine and patient care. His research and experience has helped further the development of multiple laser systems and therapeutic techniques, many of which are now commonly used throughout the world.

Recent publications

  • Lederhandler et al. Deep initial Mohs stage for scalp cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma to avoid occult tumor. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2020;82(4):e129-e130. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2019.12.007
  • Feng et al. Characteristics of opioid prescriptions by Mohs surgeons in the Medicare population. Dermatol Surg. 2020;46(3):335-340. doi:10.1097/DSS.0000000000002038
  • Kuka et al. Cell enriched autologous fat grafts to follicular niche improves hair regrowth in early androgenetic alopecia. Aesthet Surg J. Published online February 5, 2020. doi:10.1093/asj/sjaa037
  • Bae YC et al. Treatment of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation in patients with darker skin types using a low energy 1,927 nm non-ablative fractional laser: a retrospective photographic review analysis. Lasers Surg Med. 2020;52(1):7-12. doi:10.1002/lsm.23173

Q. Which patient had the most effect on your work and why?
More than 20 years ago, there was a newborn with an extensive port wine stain on her face whose parents allowed me to push the envelope and begin laser treatment at a few days of age. The success with this patient led to my studies and publications on early intervention during infancy, which has led to faster and more complete responses while avoiding the need for general anesthesia.

Q. What is the greatest political danger in the field of dermatology?  
The nonphysician practice of dermatology is the greatest political danger that we face as a specialty. It puts the unsuspecting public at risk and significantly lowers the bar to entry for dermatologic care. n

Q. What is your greatest regret?
I regret that my early efforts to control the non-physician practice of dermatology in the late 1990s and early 2000s largely fell on deaf ears, which has led to long-term negative consequences since then.

Q. What part of your work gives you the most pleasure?
There are two areas that I enjoy the most. The first is the opportunity to work with new technology that has helped move the field of dermatology forward. The other is the work I do with newborns, infants, and children, which for many of them changes their lives positively forever.

Q. What is the best piece of advice you have received and from whom? 
A. Bernard Ackerman, MD, with whom I trained as a resident and subsequently worked with as faculty members at NYU, frequently encouraged me not to accept the status quo and to not be concerned about criticism from colleagues when presented with novel approaches to treatment.


Editor's note: The article originally spelled Dr Geronemus's name incorrectly in the second sentence as well as provided an incorrect DOI for two of his recent publications. The online article and PDF have been updated to reflect these changes on May 13, 2020.

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