Q&A Spotlight: Vitaly Kramer

Author: The Dermatology Specialists

Vitaly Kramer The Dermatology Specialists

Vitaly Kramer is a board-certified Physician Assistant with a passion for the diverse mix of patients and skincare treatments commensurate with the dermatology profession. Vitaly earned his undergraduate degree in English and Psychology from the University at Buffalo, and completed his Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies at Touro College in Manhattan, NY in 2014.

Vitaly gained experience working with patients from all walks of life in Jamaica, Queens and Long Island. He then relocated to Brooklyn Dermatology, which later merged with Bobby Buka MD to become The Dermatology Specialists. Today, Vitaly continues to work with patients at the intersection of some of the most diverse neighborhoods in the country.

Licensed by the New York State Board of Education, Vitaly is also an active member of several professional organizations including the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants.

We sat down with Vitaly Kramer to learn more about his interests and background in dermatology:

What originally inspired you to go into the medical field?

I wanted a rewarding career helping people. I had a few friends who had promising jobs in the PA field, and I met a couple more PAs while I was shadowing in the ER. Seeing them in action inspired me to take on a PA career of my own.

I was drawn to dermatology, specifically, because of the variety. I see lots of different skin conditions each day, and those conditions present themselves differently across a diverse New York population. Each patient and condition brings its own challenges.

I also like dermatology because it is so collaborative. Patients are motivated to help themselves, and I love the feeling of talking and working with each patient to determine what treatment options and skincare regimens work best for them.

What have you found most surprising or challenging about working in dermatology?

Since Dr. Buka and Dr. Choudhury are experts in pediatric dermatology, we tend to see a higher rate of pediatric patients than other practices.
It’s particularly challenging treating kids — they may be nervous to be in a doctor’s office, embarrassed to show their skin, or both. Overcoming that hurdle through a gentle bedside manner takes practice and is one of the most rewarding parts of my day-to-day work. When I see children leave healthier and more confident than they arrived, I know I’ve done my job well.

Are there any skincare trends or advancements that you’re particularly excited about?

The plethora of recent and up-and-coming biologic treatments that help clear up psoriasis and eczema are amazing. For a lot of patients, they’re life-changing medications.

I have some patients who say that they’ve worn a t-shirt outdoors for the first time in ten years because of the clear skin that they get from these medications. Seeing a complete turnaround in the health of their skin and their personality is worth getting excited about.

Is there anything that you wish patients knew more about skincare?

Many patients use irritating products without even realizing it. It’s easy to make a quick purchase after seeing a product promoted on Instagram or YouTube without knowing if the ingredients are good.

For example, I’ve had patients show me the anti-acne products they found online only to discover they’re oil-based or have harsh irritants. I like to teach my patients how to read product labels and to look out for ingredients that can cause skin irritations or inflammation.

What does your skincare routine look like?

I am a “less-is-more” kind of person. I wash my face with a gentle cleanser, twice daily. In the morning, I use a moisturizer that includes sunscreen, and before bedtime I moisturize with Neutrogena Hydro Boost.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I mostly spend time with friends and family and like to read a good mix of classical literature and nonfiction.

I also like to travel whenever I can. In the last few years, I’ve gone to Cuba, Nicaragua, Israel, and around the Baltic countries. Each trip has its own unique appeal, so it’s honestly hard to pick a favorite. I’m planning on taking my next trip this winter and looking at places in either Asia or South America.