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Q&A Spotlight: Haleh Stratton

Author: The Dermatology Specialists

Haleh Stratton The Dermatology Specialists

Haleh Stratton brings 20+ years of experience as a Physician Assistant to her role at The Dermatology Specialists, including eight years specifically in the dermatology field.

Spending most of her training and career in Atlanta, Georgia, Haleh earned her Masters of Medical Science degree from Emory University’s Medical School in 1994. She next spent several years working as a Physician Assistant in the infertility field, moving to dermatology and, subsequently, pain management in 2013. Her continued interest in medical dermatology, however, led her to take an opportunity to work in New York City with The Dermatology Specialists in July 2019.

We sat down with Haleh to learn more about her career trajectory, depth of experience and personal interests:

What initially inspired you to become a Physician Assistant?

I was a biology major and genetic engineering student at Georgia Tech, but I realized the lab environment wasn’t for me. One day, I had a doctor’s appointment and I was impressed by how much time, care and skill was given from the woman who was assisting me. Her compassion is what inspired me to apply to graduate school the following year and it’s a trait I use in my work with patients daily.

What is the most satisfying part of your job?

It’s so gratifying to see patients who feel content and grateful after we’ve helped resolve their dermatological concerns. One of the greatest rewards is to see how patients positively respond to ongoing treatments. I met a patient who’s been coming to our office for ten years because of a great experience with one of our Physician Assistants. You truly become part of their lives!

Does your previous experience with infertility and pain management intersect with your time in dermatology?

It definitely does. Every time I return to the dermatology field, my interest is piqued by the medical aspect of it; skin is a telltale sign about what’s going on inside of the body. Even when I went into other fields, I had to deal with how internal medical issues affected skin conditions. It’s one of the reasons dermatology has been such a focus for me throughout my career.

What do you think is one of the most difficult aspects of your job that most people wouldn’t realize?

I don’t think people often associate skin rashes with major malignancies, but sometimes I have to talk to patients and explain to them that a red spot might be cancerous. I don’t like being the bearer of bad news, but it’s nice to reassure them that we’ve identified it and we’ve found out what it is. Having those tough conversations, even after all these years, can be difficult.

Are there any advancements in dermatology that are exciting for you?

My passion has long been pediatrics, and the effectiveness of the latest vaccines and treatments for kids are truly amazing. All the advancements and biologics for psoriasis in particular have really blown me away. We’re able to offer patients so much more than topical creams today, and it’s fantastic to see the positive outcomes.

What do you like to do outside of work?

In my spare time, I like to jog and spend time with my family. As a mother, I love traveling with my daughter, who just went off to college.

In fact, my passion in life is traveling. I plan to visit everywhere in the world before I die. My daughter and I just came back from a three week trip to Africa, which was magical and truly life-changing. Australia and Japan are on my bucket list of the next places to see.

I also love traveling through Europe and visiting with my family who lives in Paris. Although we’re originally from Iran, Paris feels like home because that’s where much of my family lives today.