Valdosta Daily Times

Business

May 8, 2011

Skin Deep

New dermatology practice opens in Valdosta

VALDOSTA — Valdosta now has a second dermatologist.

Dr. Betsy Perry Thacker, M.D., F.A.A.D., opened her new practice, Thacker Dermatology, three weeks ago and is already seeing up to 20 patients a day.

“We’ve been really tickled and we love it,” Thacker said. “People don’t have to wait a long time to get an appointment. They don’t have to spend all day here. We try to be pretty efficient and get people in and out. It’s just a full service, from young kids to older adults, from rashes to acne to skin cancer, to serious chronic medical problems.”

Thacker, a Macon native, joins Dr. William Howard, M.D., as two of the only dermatologists in the Valdosta area.

“(Dr. Howard) has been very helpful referring people to come over here so that we can take care of them and get them seen about,” Thacker said. “He’s been really warm and welcoming.”

Thacker also is no stranger to the Valdosta area. Her father attended Valdosta State and two of her brothers live in Quitman.

Thacker received her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Virginia and attended medical school at Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon. It was in her fourth year of medical school that she realized she wanted to go into dermatology.

“I did a two-week elective in my fourth year of medical school and it just seemed like the most fun thing I’ve ever done,” she said. “The doctor was so pleasant and happy the whole time we were there. He wasn’t complaining about one thing. You get to be the jack of all trades. I get to do a little bit of surgery. You get to do some internal medicine still, some very strong medicines and there’s a little psychiatry in dermatology as well. I figured it would be something that would allow me to do everything that I wanted to do.” After spending her internal medicine residency at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Chattanooga and her dermatology residency at the University of Utah, she became chief resident of dermatology at the University of Utah.

Before coming to Valdosta to start her practice, Thacker was an associate physician in dermatology at Northwest Georgia Dermatology in Rome.

“I just had a particular philosophy on how I wanted to take care of patients,” Thacker said of starting her own practice. “I wanted to have an office where my staff felt like they were taken care of and they could, therefore, take care of patients and help me. I want a friendly place where people get high-quality care. That’s what I wanted to create and I just said I had my own ideas on how to do that and I decided to come do it.”

Thacker said the most cases she gets is where people are getting their skin checked for skin cancers because people are becoming more aware of regular skin exams.

“Particularly, if they have risk factors for skin cancer, (such as) being fair skinned having, history of sunburns, sun exposure, tanning bed exposure, abnormal moles or funny moles,” she said. “If they have a history of those things, people are becoming aware that they need to get those things checked out.”

She also sees a lot of acne cases not only in children, but in women also.

“You would think it would be all kinds but a lot can be in women with hormonal acne,” Thacker said. “I’ve treated a lot of skin cancers. I also treat people who have rashes, eczema, which is a type of a chronic, itchy rash.”

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