Dermatology at Washington University
The tradition of Dermatology at Washington University School of Medicine can be best traced back to the earliest history of the Siteman Cancer Center in the late 1800s. After a tornado destroyed the old City Hospital, cancer patients were turned away from the emergency quarters that were established. In 1905, in an effort to provide free cancer care to the poor, the St. Louis Skin and Cancer Hospital was founded. A few years later, a St. Louis businessman, George D. Barnard, financed the Barnard Free Skin and Cancer Hospital. Barnard was later integrated into the Washington University School of Medicine in 1952. The current Barnard Hospital was erected in the Barnes complex in 1954. In the earliest days of Dermatology in St. Louis, over 50 physicians were trained as dermatologists through the Barnard Free Skin and Cancer Hospital that was active through 1954.
Establishment of the Department of Dermatology
Dermatology as a distinct and separate entity was formally established as a Division of Medicine in 1954. Dr. Herman Eisen was recruited to develop a program of research and training in disorders of the skin funded by a Rockefeller Foundation grant. In 1967, Dr. Arthur Z. Eisen was named chief of Dermatology at Washington University School of Medicine. He remained in this position until 1996. At the time of his recruitment, Dr. Eisen was an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital. His research focused on the study of human skin collagenases, where his laboratory went on to make seminal observations in characterizing extracellular matrix metalloproteinases. In 2000, Dr. Lynn Cornelius was appointed Chief of the Division of Dermatology, and remains in this post today. Dr. Cornelius did her residency training in Dermatology at Washington University and completed post-doctoral training at Emory University School of Medicine. Her clinical and translational focus is melanoma.
The residency program was initially formed in 1958 and has continued full accreditation at five-year increments throughout that time period up until the present. Many of our physicians have been awarded Teaching Awards both within the Division as well as in the school-at-large. The training program is approved through the ACGME for a complement of 17 Dermatology residents for PGY years 2â€“4, making it one of the largest in the nation. We also have a dedicated track for physician scientists, the Physician Scientist Training Program (PSTP), where the last year of residency training can be spent in the laboratory. Overall, the training program has successfully graduated 185 dermatologists, some of which have gone on to become nationally and internationally renowned. To this point, Washington University Dermatology was recently recognized as being within the top ten training institutions that has produced the most academic dermatologists.1
Resident education includes weekly textbook reviews, slide conference, grand rounds, journal club, and dermatopathology lectures/slide unknowns. In addition to this, residents serve on national committees (AAD, SID, APD) and have opportunities to participate in NIH-funded and investigator-initiated research.
Clinical Practice and Sites
The Center for Advanced Medicine houses one of the general Dermatology outpatient facilities and the multidisciplinary melanoma clinic. Our off-campus practices include Barnes West County that also houses our Clinical Trials Unit, and Barnes St. Peters; together, these sites support eight practicing dermatologists. At each location, our physicians serve as both primary