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New Dermatologists Focused on Quality Patient Care

Mar 12, 2019, 12:16 PM by Nicole Young
Dermatologists are fewer than 1% of all doctors so the arrival of the two new clinicians is a result of strong recruitment efforts with careful attention to the needs of the community.


Dermatology Drs. Perrin, Barry and Beckler

Adding Drs. Meredith Perrin and Tammy Berry to Sansum Clinic’s experienced Dermatology Department brings new perspectives and knowledge with potentially unique opportunities to save lives.

For example, one barrier keeping patients from obtaining full-body skin cancer checks is discomfort and embarrassment, according to current medical research published in JAMA Dermatology. A study showed that ability to select a physician’s gender may meaningfully put patients at ease. Participating women noted that female dermatologist availability could increase patient willingness to undergo screening skin examinations. Melanoma is now one of the most common cancers in young women. Taking gender preference into account could make a positive impact towards achieving the best possible screenings. “We have a large female patient population that was waiting for this,” explains Dr. Perrin. “Dermatology is an intimate specialty. You are often looking at a person’s entire body. Similar to choosing an OB/GYN, some females prefer a female physician.” Sansum Clinic dermatologists Drs. Bret Davis, Peter Ford and Mark Logan are pleased to welcome their new colleagues. They emphasize that patients have asked for women dermatologists repeatedly and that Sansum Clinic made a deliberate attempt to respond to this need. Dermatologists are fewer than 1% of all doctors so the arrival of the two new clinicians is a result of strong recruitment efforts with careful attention to the needs of the community.

Dr. Berry graduated from her home state’s University of New Mexico Medical School in Albuquerque where she also did her residency. Dr. Perrin grew up in North Dakota, attended the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and traveled to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for her residency. Both doctors would like to dispel any misconception that dermatologists only treat ailments like acne and psoriasis. Drs. Berry and Perrin revel in “evidence-based medicine,” which is the application of research-based approaches onto the complex, detective-like clinical work of uncovering how and why something manifests on the skin. “The ability to detect systemic disease with a thorough skin exam is something that intrigues me about dermatology,” relays Dr. Berry. Even without a specific skin issue or history of cancer, the amount of sun exposure in California is one reason why the two doctors recommend patients receive an initial screening for prevention purposes, followed by skin cancer education. 

Collaboration with other specialists is the norm at the large academic centers where both dermatologists worked before their arrival in Santa Barbara. They are looking forward to those kinds of partnerships here alongside facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Andrew Beckler and other physicians. It’s what makes medicine fun, according to Dr. Berry. Her initial meeting with CEO Dr. Kurt Ransohoff confirmed her belief that Sansum Clinic would be a good fit. “It made an impression on me. He had a real vision,” she shares. “The CEO is the person who sets the stage for the entire organization, someone who is devoted to the community.”

The women speak passionately about their shared goal to make their department a premiere dermatology clinic offering the latest tools and most patient care. In fact, what they discuss most often together is how to deliver quality care for an extremely diverse patient population. “I want patients to feel they are having an excellent  experience from the minute they check in to the minute they walk out the door. That is important to me,” affirms Dr. Perrin.

Chances are conversations about quality of care may continue at home since both Dr. Perrin and Dr. Berry’s spouses are also physicians. Dr. Jared Perrin is an internist with the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and Dr. Ryan Berry is a clinical pathologist for Cottage Hospital. Landing jobs for two pairs of doctors in their specific specialties is akin to winning the lottery, they theorize, especially when factoring in the competition for a sunny climate.

Now settled in, the real reasons they pursue their important work is what motivates them daily. “It is really gratifying to fix skin disease,” suggests Dr. Perrin. “Patients are happy and grateful and you feel like you really did something important.”

To make an appointment with a dermatologist, please call our Dermatology Departments directly:

Pueblo Multi-Specialty Clinic, Dermatology at (805) 898-3050

Pesetas Multi-Specialty Clinic, Dermatology at (805) 681-7535

Dermatology Associates of Sansum Clinic – Santa Maria at (805) 349 -7576.