Dr. Wysong named chair of UNMC's new department of dermatology

by Tom O'Connor, UNMC public relations | April 09, 2018

Image with caption: Ashley Wysong, M.D.

Ashley Wysong, M.D.

A California dermatologist with Midwest roots, Ashley Wysong, M.D., has been selected as the founding chair of UNMC's newly created Department of Dermatology in the College of Medicine.

The appointment, effective May 1, was announced today by Brad Britigan, M.D., dean of the College of Medicine. Dr. Wysong will begin seeing patients this summer. The UNMC Department of Dermatology was approved by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents in May 2016.

The UNMC Department of Dermatology is the second new department created by the UNMC College of Medicine in the past three years. In June 2015, the Board of Regents approved creation of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. PM&R physicians treat patients suffering from stroke, musculoskeletal injuries and pain syndromes and help rehabilitate patients with severe impairments. The department's first class of residents will start in July.

"We are thrilled to have Dr. Wysong join UNMC/Nebraska Medicine," Dr. Britigan said. "She stood out in the interview process and was unanimously the first choice of the search committee. She will bring a lot of energy to the position. I have no doubt that she will do an outstanding job of building the department and making it a source of pride for our university."

The Wysong File

A fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon and procedural dermatologist, Dr. Wysong's clinical areas of expertise are skin cancer, reconstructive surgery, and high-risk transplant dermatology. Her formal training in epidemiology and biostatistics drives her research interests in prevention of skin cancer and in characterizing novel clinical and genetic factors in high-risk and rare skin tumors.

  • Born -- Nevada, Mo. (about 90 miles south of Kansas City)
  • 1997 -- Nevada High School (valedictorian)
  • 2001 -- University of Missouri, magna cum laude, B.S., biology, psychology, chemistry
  • 2003 -- Stanford University School of Medicine, M.S., clinical epidemiology
  • 2009 -- Duke University School of Medicine, M.D. (valedictorian)
  • 2007-2008 -- Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Fellow
  • 2010-2013 -- Stanford University Hospital and Clinics, dermatology residency (chief resident)
  • 2013-2014 - Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, Calif., fellow, Mohs surgery and procedural dermatology
  • 2014-present -- assistant professor, dermatology and otolaryngology/head and neck cancer, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California (USC)
  • 2014-present -- director, Mohs surgery and procedural dermatology, Los Angeles County (LAC) Hospital & USC Medical Center
  • 2015-present -- director, Multidisciplinary Cutaneous Tumor Board, USC Norris Cancer Center
  • 2017 -- National Service Award, Women's Dermatologic Society

Previously, dermatology had only existed at UNMC as a section of the Department of Internal Medicine. During the mid-1990s into the early 2000s, the section was only able to recruit and retain a single faculty member, and this person ultimately left as the structure did not allow the autonomy necessary to grow and develop clinically as well as in education and research.

A native of Nevada, Mo., Dr. Wysong has served on the dermatology faculty in the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California since 2014, holding the position of director of Mohs and Dermatologic Surgery. She has ties to Nebraska, as her paternal grandfather was born in Bayard, Neb.

"The chance to build a new department of dermatology is an extremely unique opportunity. The need for dermatologic care in Nebraska is enormous. This is one of the aspects that drew me to the position," said Dr. Wysong, noting that Nebraska has one of the lowest ratios of dermatologists in the country with only one dermatologist for every 52,000 people. The ratio recommended by the American Professors of Dermatology is one dermatologist for every 20,000 to 30,000 people.

"The people of Nebraska -- together with UNMC and Nebraska Medicine -- have combined efforts to support a new department, and the environment is ripe for the growth of clinical, educational and research programs in dermatology. I'm very eager and excited to hit the ground running.

"As a large center for organ transplantation and with the recent opening of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, Nebraska Medicine has an extensive need for dermatology expertise," she said. Because transplant and cancer patients often take immunosuppressive drugs, Dr. Wysong said this puts them at much greater risk for multiple dermatologic problems.

"There are many dermatologic conditions, some even life-threatening, that develop acutely within the hospital and others that may present the need for ongoing dermatologic care," she said. "For example, transplant patients have a 100-fold increased risk for skin cancer over the general public and require more extensive follow-up."

Dr. Wysong will be recruiting a minimum of eight dermatologists to the department over the next five years. She came to the UNMC campus last month and has already hired three dermatologists to begin this summer and is actively recruiting others. Dr. Britigan said the creation of the UNMC Department of Dermatology will not only benefit Nebraska Medicine, but it also will be critical to meeting the needs of its major clinical partners -- Children's Hospital & Medical Center and the VA-Nebraska/Western Iowa Health Care System.

For more information on the UNMC/Nebraska Medicine dermatology program, call 402-559-4032.

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chet jacobs
May 14, 2019 at 4:38 PM

I watch the show rfd tv lots good information.

Janet Wray
April 09, 2018 at 12:39 PM

amazing young woman and outstanding physician. So pleased she and her husband will be closer to home!