The name Dockside Dermatology is more than simply a nod to life on the water.
With her business logo featuring a boat cleat for the “k” in Dockside, Dr. Lesley Sutherland does pay homage to her Annapolitan roots. But she and Arnold native Dr. Stephanie Clements, her friend turned business partner, were quite literal when it came to naming their practice.
“We truly are a doctor that will be by your side. That is our mantra,” Sutherland said.
As teenagers receiving treatment for their own skin, Sutherland and Clements, unbeknownst to them at the time, frequented the same waiting room.
Their separate, albeit parallel, experiences with the same dermatologist put them each on a path to pursue the same specialty.
Today, Sutherland and Clements want the practice they founded and co-own, Dockside Dermatology, to set the industry standard in the Annapolis area.
“We can be the business owner and the doctor at the same time, and we can have both mindsets and marry the two objectives into a better product to give the patient,” Clements explained.
Feeling the need for a smaller, more personal option for dermatological services in the area, Sutherland reached out to Clements, a friend from residency who was then finishing up a fellowship in California, to plant the seed of going into business together.
“We share the same goal in how we want to practice medicine,” Sutherland said of the decision.
After months of coordinating from opposite coasts, Sutherland and Clements brought their vision to life just before Christmas of last year. Also born that week — Clements’ first child.
“She had her baby right as we opened,” Sutherland recalled of the flurry of activity surrounding their opening.
Less than a year in, their mission to provide comprehensive dermatological care is well underway.
Services provided at Dockside Dermatology include skin checks, treatment for acne, rashes, warts, molluscum, hair loss, nail issues, skin cancer, keloids, psoriasis and eczema. The business offers cosmetic products and procedures such as chemical peels, microneedling, hair restoration, Botox, Dysport and ear piercing.
Laser treatments for dark spots, rosacea and hair removal, as well as photodynamic light therapy to prevent skin cancer, are also available.
Just this month, Dockside began offering narrowband ultraviolet B for those patients wanting an option other than medication to treat their skin condition.
“We’re really trying to offer bread and butter dermatology, everything you could possibly need here, so that the patient doesn’t have to go outside of our system for anything dermatological,” Sutherland said.
Perhaps the most medically consequential services they offer are those pertaining to the screening and treatment of skin cancer, a disease that’s widespread in the Chesapeake region, as it tends to go hand in hand with life on the water.
“I loved the field of being able to treat skin cancer,” Sutherland said. “It’s the one cancer that presents itself right in front of your eyes, and you can detect it early, and when you do detect it early, there’s often a very high cure rate.”
When Sutherland set out to start her own practice, her personal friendship and shared medical philosophy with Clements made for a natural partnership. Additionally, Clements brought to the table expertise in Mohs surgery, a procedure that removes two of the most prevalent forms of skin cancer.
“Mohs allows a really small margin of normal skin around the skin cancer to be taken, which leaves the patient with the smallest scar and the highest cure rate,” Clements explained.
While Mohs surgery is a common procedure, it’s not always common to have it done in your dermatologist’s office, Sutherland said.
Dockside Dermatology is committed to comprehensive, collaborative care. With a Mohs surgeon in-house, patients are able to have biopsies, consults and surgery all under one roof, with the reassurance and guidance of doctors they already know.
“That’s something that we feel strongly about and that we specifically wanted to bring to this practice, that the patient would just feel like they’re being walked through whatever they’re going through,” Clements said.
Sutherland added, “It’s how medicine should be across the board.”
Dockside Dermatology’s spacious office, designed by Sutherland and aptly decorated in a nautical theme, boasts 12 exam/treatment rooms and two waiting areas — plenty of room for their staff of 10 to grow.
“As we grow, I really want to bring the people who are the leaders in dermatology to our practice.”
Sutherland credits her parents for her entrepreneurial spirit.
“I always kind of wanted to open my own practice. My mom and dad, they were small business owners and my dad was an entrepreneur and always venturing out on different projects,” she said.
So far, it’s been smooth sailing. The intended feel of their practice may be small, but the expected outcome is quite the opposite.
“I do feel like we’re changing the whole field of dermatology in this area for the better,” Sutherland said.
Clements said the mission and the culture behind what her business is doing is exciting.
“When we go home at night, I just feel this deep sense of fulfillment that we’re doing something meaningful, and that we’re doing something for the community that matters,” Clements said.
Dockside Dermatology is located at 8601 Veterans Highway in Millersville. For more information or to book an appointment, call 410-934-5400.
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