Patel, who joined MD Anderson in 2013, has served in her current position since 2013. She also serves on the faculty in the Department of Dermatology at UT Health and has a practice with UT Physicians.
Patel’s commitment to education is reflected in her dedication to mentoring the next generation of specialists in her field. “As a dermatology-trained dermatopathologist, I have a unique opportunity to help train students, residents and fellows in the clinic and at the microscope,” Patel says. "The adage ‘The eyes don't see what the mind doesn't know’ is particularly applicable to dermatology, and I have structured my clinics and sign-out time to help trainees understand dermatologic disease completely, hopefully helping them to diagnose and treat more efficaciously.”
Reflecting on her early years of training as a dermatopathologist, Patel says, “The learning process is two-way, and it is just as invigorating for me to learn from the residents. I was the beneficiary of excellent teaching and mentoring, leading me to an academic career, and I hope to build the same excitement for medicine and dermatology in trainees with whom I work.”
Patel has supervised five undergraduate and allied health students and four medical students and has mentored more than 30 clinical residents and fellows. She has served on more than 30 clinical trials, including serving as principal or co-principal investigator on four studies.
Publications include nearly two dozen peer-reviewed journal articles and two book chapters. In addition, she serves as a reviewer on the publications Pigment International Journal, Dermatology and Journal of Cutaneous Pathology. Her video on cutaneous side effects is included in the MD Anderson Physicians Network Teaching Video Series.
Patel has given presentations at the annual meetings of the American Society of Dermatopathology, the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery. Locally, she has given presentations to the Houston Dermatology Society and the MD Anderson Survivorship Conference.
Before transitioning to MD Anderson, Patel worked at UT Medical Branch in Galveston as a clinical instructor in dermatology after completing a clinical fellowship there. She completed a residency in dermatology at Oregon Health and Science University and interned at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in internal medicine.
Patel’s background is in engineering. After earning a BS in mechanical engineering and materials science from Rice University, she worked as an engineer at Lyondell Chemical Co. (now known as LyondellBasell) in Houston and in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, before leaving the field to attend medical school at BCM.
The MD Anderson Faculty Educator of the Month program, sponsored by the Division of Academic Affairs, recognizes MD Anderson faculty members who demonstrate excellence and innovation in teaching.