As a pediatric cancer survivor, As a pediatric cancer survivor, Dr. Natalie Meeks of Optima Dermatology always believed her medical career would be dedicated to pediatric oncology. While she was still a student, though, a largely unexpected–but career-defining–stop at a dermatology clinic event would end up altering her path forever.
“I remember going home that night and saying ‘I’m going to be a dermatologist.’ It was that fast,” she said. “I love how dermatology allows you to see the results of your care, and patients can see and appreciate those results as well. I love talking to people. I love seeing patients; getting to know them and forming a relationship.”
According to Meeks, dermatology differs from other medical fields on the service end as well.
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“I have that kind of service-first mentality, because for a lot of people, it’s not just dermatology; it’s an experience,” she said. “I let patients have a lot of say in their treatment plans. It’s my job to walk them through their options, and then we make a road map, together, of what’s best for them.”
While Meeks heads the medical services provided by Optima Dermatology–which treats everything from skin cancer, to acne, moles, psoriasis, and more–board- certified nurse practitioner Teniele Cochern oversees the clinic’s expert-level cosmetics department. This includes a variety of fillers, injections, chemical peels, and even the state of the art HALO Hybrid Fractional Laser and BBL (BroadBand Light) treatments by Sciton®.
“It’s such a great tool,” Cochern said of the Sciton® laser. “It has so many different modalities, which means it can be adjusted and used for almost everyone.”
And even though all these services are currently available at Optima Dermatology’s interim location–at 1375 Cherry Way Dr.. on the city’s North Side–the practice will be launching a massive new facility as well. Coming as early as next spring, the new location will feature its own Mohs surgeon. This means patients will be able to receive skin cancer treatment in-house, and follow-up appointments will be simple and streamlined.
“It’ll be the full gamut; you can get whatever you need done there,” Meeks said. “It offers everything dermatology has to offer.” What’s more, the new facility will also include an
entire section dedicated to research and clinical trials, so Optima Dermatology will be able to help not only its immediate patients, but also leave a lasting positive impression on treatment itself for years to come.
“Really, that’s the most important part to me, as a medical professional,” Meeks said. “How I’ll be able to affect the community; how I’ll be able to help more people.”