Accuracy is everything for dermatopathologist Jennifer McNiff, MD, who is the medical director of Dermatopathology at Yale Medicine. As a doctor who is highly trained in both dermatology and pathology, she runs a lab where skin samples from all over the world are sent for diagnoses. “We are trained to recognize every skin condition—from rashes to tumors,” says Dr. McNiff.
She and her team work very closely together in the lab, giving patients the benefit of more than one specialist’s expertise. “Our team of dermatopathologists reviews complex and challenging cases together daily, in a consensus conference at a multi-headed microscope,” Dr. McNiff says.
Dr. McNiff enjoys both helping patients and their treating physicians by using her experience to identify even subtle cell changes that are indicators of disease. Often the identifying features of skin diseases, including cancers, are so slight that it takes the know-how of leading experts to make the right diagnosis so that patients can receive the care they need.
“For me, it is all about the patient and the knowledge that we are positioned to help both patients and their treating physicians by generating accurate and timely diagnoses,” she says.
The past President of the American Society of Dermatopathology, Dr. McNiff is frequently invited to speak at national and international meetings.