Faculty Educator of the Month: July 2012

Ronald P. Rapini, M.D.

Ronald P. Rapini, M.D., Chair and Professor in the Department of Dermatology at MD Anderson, Chair and Josey Professor in the Department of Dermatology at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston (UTMS), and Director of the UTMS Dermatopathology Fellowship Program and UTMS Dermatology Residency Program, has been named the July 2012 Faculty Educator of the Month.

Dr. RapiniJust a glance at his many titles reveals that Dr. Rapini is very involved in educating trainees. For example, as Director of the Dermatology Residency Program, a role now rare among department chairs, he oversees trainees at both MD Anderson and UTMS. The 18 residents work with 22 faculty members at three major sites, including the Harris County Hospital District Clinics, seeing diverse problems in a wide variety of dermatological topics. In addition to rotations, clinical studies, and clinical and laboratory research, residents participate in weekday conferences that include lectures, grand rounds, book reviews, and journal clubs. In 2009, the program was recognized by Dermatology Times as one of the top eight dermatology centers in the United States.

Also, trainees in the 1-year UTMS Dermatopathology Fellowship Program gain experience in examination of skin specimens, 20,000 of which are assessed annually at UTMS. The program accepts fellows with pathology backgrounds, who are trained in general dermatology, and those with dermatology backgrounds, who are instructed in general pathology. He also collaborates with the separate Dermatopathology Fellowship Program at MD Anderson, which is directed by Doina Ivan, M.D.

In addition to his current directorships, Dr. Rapini has had a great deal of experience with other educational programs. For example, since 2005, he has taken part in educational and clinical activities for the UT Physicians group. He also was the Director of the Dermatopathology Fellowship Program (1999-2002) and Dermatology Residency Program (1994-2002) at Texas Tech University. Furthermore, during his first tenure at UTMS, Dr. Rapini directed the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-approved Dermatopathology Fellowship Training Programs (1990-1993) and coordinated medical student rotations in dermatology (1984-1993).

Dr. Rapini’s lengthy list of awards includes several for his educational efforts. These consist of placement among Who's Who in American Education (1995-present) and Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers (2004), the Walter Nickel Award for Excellence in Teaching (American Society of Dermatology, 2005), the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award (Texas Tech Pathology residents, 1998), the Annual Excellence in Teaching Award (UTMS Pathology residents, 1989), and the Outstanding Teacher Award (UTMS medical student graduating class, 1987). This year, he received the annual Founder's Award of the American Society of Dermatopathology. He also has appeared in the Best Doctors listing (1996-present), Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare (1998-present), the Consumers’ Research Council of America Guide to America’s Top Physicians (2006-2008), and the Texas Monthly Annual Listing of Super Docs (2003-2012).

Dr. Rapini received his M.D. degree from The Ohio State University in 1978. He then completed a transitional internship at Marshfield Clinic in Marshfield, WI, in 1979; a residency in Dermatology at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in 1982; and a fellowship in Dermatopathology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in 1983.

Dr. Rapini then came to Houston when he was named Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology at UTMS in 1983. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1988 and held that position until 1993, when he went to Texas Tech University as Chair and Professor in the Department of Dermatology. In 2002, Dr. Rapini returned to Houston when he was named to his current positions as Chair and Professor in the Department of Dermatology at MD Anderson and Chair and Josey Professor in the Department of Dermatology at UTMS.

In addition to his duties described above, Dr. Rapini has been the Clinical Medical Director for the UTMS Dermatology Clinic since 2002 and has directed office-based laboratory testing for UTMS since 2005. He also served as the Director of the Mohs Clinic at MD Anderson in 2009 and Associate Medical Director of the MD Anderson Melanoma and Skin Center from 2003 to 2008.

Dr. Rapini currently serves on the editorial board for Skin & Allergy News. He also was an editor for Texas Dermatologist and served on the board for The American Journal of Dermatopathology. Furthermore, he has been a reviewer for numerous publications. Since 1981, Dr. Rapini has authored more than 120 articles published in peer-reviewed journals, 23 invited articles, and 33 book chapters and edited or authored 7 books.

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