Dr. H. L. Greenberg – 2014 Las Vegas Winner in Dermatology

Congratulations, Dr. Greenberg. I understand you are the first recipient of the Las Vegas Doctors’ Choice Awards in Dermatology 2014! How does that feel?
I think it is nice. In practical what I like is that Doctor’s Choice Award is a peer selected award, from my understanding, and it is nice to know that other peers have selected me for such an honor. It is not a paid thing and there are different paid awards across the countries on which people get their names on things. But this one is where people are just selected based on the merit from their colleagues.

It’s a great achievement! How long have you been established in your practice?
Las Vegas Dermatology started in 2007. We started off in one room from another doctor’s office. And from there we have grown and expanded to the point where we now have 5000 sqft of space to provide medical, surgical and cosmetic procedures. It took a while to get here. We are really growing and it is fantastic.

We know it takes a lot of synergy and teamwork to make a successful practice, so we are wondering, what kind of culture have you created in your practice?
We have a staff meeting every Wednesday where we get together as a team and talk about what is going on in the practice. I have an agenda and with that I go over the things that are important for that week and then everybody is allowed to talk about what is going in their specific section of the practice. After that we have a time where everybody says one positive thing going on in their life. So personally for me it could be that I am going to the conference right this afternoon and giving two lectures on dermatology and social media marketing. That was my positive this week. But somebody will talk about their kid and then they are playing baseball and did a home run. And then another person will say that they are moving to a new home in Las Vegas valley. So whatever it is we have a culture where they really care about one another. The other thing we emphasize is that the patient comes first so we are very much a patient centered practice. I think it shows not just in the way that we treat each other but also in the way that we treat the patients.

You have received great reviews from leaders in the medical industry, and you were also very instrumental in getting other doctors to participate in Doctors’ Choice Awards. How did you first get involved with Doctors’ Choice Awards?
I am not sure how it happened. I think somebody reached out to me either on LinkedIn or from the website itself. Actually I think I was asked to review a friend in the colleague. I said it is great because this is a peer reviewed source. And I said I wonder if they will consider me and that is how that worked out.

How did you get into the field of dermatology? Was there a specific moment when you knew that you wanted to be a dermatologist?
Yes, when I was a fourth year medical student, I did a rotation in dermatology. I already matched to do internal Medicine at Georgetown but I did this rotation and it was with my hometown dermatologist named Truckman in Colorado Springs. He was doing lasers, surgery and I had never seen any of these before and I was just astonished and excited and said this is what I wanted to do. I want to do Lasers, Fillers, Botox and Skin cancer. But the problem with dermatology is as you know is the most competitive field so I could not get in right away as there were people who already matched. I was already doing my medicine residency. So every year during my medicine residency I applied for dermatology and I will look chapters and journal articles. I did a year research in medicine Madison Wisconsin dermatology and ended up getting a residency position there and transferring and finishing over at Texas University hospital at Scott & White which is in Temple, Texas.

What advice would you give aspiring physicians regarding education and starting their own practice?
Well, that is a loaded question. There is a lot of change going on right now with the government intervention in medicine and in meeting some certification. In fact I am running to be on the board of American Academy of Dermatology because I think there is too much administration going on in bureaucracy. Being a physician is awesome and it is fun and you are affecting change in people and doing things for them that they cannot do for themselves. It is a rewarding field so I would tell anybody who wants to do it that they should do it and they also got to know it is a lot of effort.

Tell us about a role model you have in dermatology.
I would say it is the gentleman whom I spoke of and whose practice is in Colorado Springs which is my hometown. He is a Harvard educated physician who is personable, dynamic and good with just dealing with people. You know the hardest part in any job is not necessarily the job itself but dealing with the people who come to the place for whatever reason or a stressed out patient who aside from the skin disease which can be easy to treat has some other issues that are making their skin conditions worse. So we just adept at dealing with people and I think he has taught me more in terms of compassion and caring and I think that is an important part being an exceptional physician.

Tell us about a time when you had to face a challenge as a leader.
I think my challenge was the first time I ever had to fire somebody. That was awful because I really liked the person but they were not really doing their job. The patient comes first and that is why we are here as physicians. In this particular case they were not doing what is right for the patient. Not only that it has bad effect on the patient but also reflects badly on the name of the practice. So that was one important turning point where nobody is that important or necessary to the practice. We really need to put our patients first.

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