What is Medical Dermatology?
(Links to information regarding specific medical conditions is available further down this page.)
The medical specialty known as dermatology focuses on the benign and malignant disorders of the skin, nails and hair. The treating physician for this area is called a dermatologist. Dermatologists are extensively trained in the structure and physiology of the skin and are expert in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions of the skin. In order to be eligible for certification by the American Board of Dermatology, a physician must complete four years of postgraduate residency training (after the completion of college and medical school). These final four years typically include one year devoted to the practice of general medicine and three years intensively focused on dermatology. The physician’s diagnostic skills are enhanced by training in dermatopathology (the examination of tissue under a microscope). Treatment skills are bolstered by training in dermatologic surgery. A dermatologist may choose to become “board certified” by taking an exam administered by the American Board of Dermatology.
Dr. Hodge is Board Certified by the American Board of Dermatology. She attended Stanford University and the Tulane University School of Medicine. She completed one year of training in internal medicine at the famed Ochsner Clinic and three years of intensive dermatology training at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans. Dr. Hodge completed her residency and began her career in 1991. Dr. Hodge has practiced in Fullerton, California ever since. She is on staff at St. Jude Hospital, in Fullerton, and is an assistant professor of dermatology at the University of California at Irvine.
Dr. Hodge is a Member of the American Academy of Dermatology, the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery, the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, and the American Society for Mohs Surgery. Dr. Hodge currently serves on the boards of the American Academy of Dermatology, the Women’s Dermatology Association, the Noah Worcester Dermatology Society, and the Dermatologic Therapy Association. She is past president of the Pacific Dermatology Association and the Orange County Dermatologic Society.
Dr. Hodge has been thoroughly trained and possesses extensive experience in diagnosing and treating diseases of the skin, hair and nails. Dr. Hodge prides herself in her diagnostic capabilities, deriving special satisfaction from providing solutions to problems that have evaded her patients and their doctors for months to years. Her work with various national dermatologic associations has allowed her to develop relationships with many colleagues who are “world experts” in specific diseases. She does not hesitate to pick up the phone to consult someone who might be able to help her with a very difficult case. Dr. Hodge is expert in both surgical and non-surgical therapies. She would describe herself as “realistic” and “patient centered.” She definitely does not always recommend the most aggressive therapy. She provides patients with definite opinions regarding treatment options but also provides options.
Medical Dermatology Services Offered
Advances in genetics, immunology, pathology and molecular biology continually offer dermatologists like Dr. Hodge a better and better understanding of skin diseases, cancers and other conditions. Dr. Hodge personally reviews her patient’s pathology under the microscope and, when she thinks it’s called for, sends the slides to an appropriate world expert. Dr. Hodge is versed in a wide variety of treatment methods including: injected, externally applied and oral medications, electro-surgery, laser surgery, biopsy techniques, cryosurgery, excisional surgery and Mohs surgery. Dr. Hodge is expert in her use of appropriate closures, including flaps and grafts. Dr. Hodge emphasizes patient comfort and uses her aesthetic sense and surgical skill to optimize cosmetic as well as surgical outcomes.
Medical dermatologists are the most thoroughly trained and experienced specialists in treating conditions of the skin, hair and nails. Some of the conditions Dr. Hodge treats are listed below. Many are linked to additional information. (Please check back in the future as we continue to add and improve linked information.)
- Aged/Sun-Damaged Skin
- Skin Cancer
- Blistering Disorders
- Skin Infections
- Pigment Changes
- Precancerous Skin Conditions
- Inherited Diseases of the Skin
- Skin Manifestations of Internal Diseases
- Pregnancy Skin Disorders
- Diabetic Skin Disorders