Board-certified dermatologist at Derick Dermatology, LLC, in Barrington, Ill.
Medical school: University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, 2002
Residency: University of Chicago Hospitals, 2006 (Chief resident final year)
in practice since: 2006
Family includes husband, Michael Derick, and two sons, Charlie (3) and Henry (1). Derick enjoys spending time with her family and supporting the Women’s Dermatologic Society.
You have two basic career choices: be an employee, or be an entrepreneur. Each career choice has pros and cons. Your decision will be shaped by how much capital you have to invest, your appetite for risk, your natural talents and preferences, and overall luck and timing. My key advice is to be honest with yourself, choose the position that naturally fits you, and try to achieve overall balance in your life.
I started my practice from scratch immediately after residency. What surprised me most was how much "business" is involved in running a dermatology practice. Just mastering the non-clinical elements of practice administration is a full-time job.
An increased focus on the practical side of dermatology would have been helpful. Learning how to deal with conflict, understanding how to develop relationships with patients, and grasping the nuances of billing issues are the key areas that come to mind.
The launch of my practice was a team effort. My parents and husband were supportive of my decision and were helpful in the process. I think it would be a lot for someone to take on individually, both from a financial and administrative perspective. I encourage younger physicians to seek out mentors for guidance and support.
The reason my practice works so well for me is that it fits my style and priorities. I like to be in control of my environment, and I have extremely high expectations for myself and my staff. The extra effort required to manage my own practice is well worth it from my perspective.