Where the latest medical advances and compassion converge

by Candance Moore

From its humble beginnings as a small family-run practice, Pariser Dermatology Specialists has grown into a regional multi-site team that's setting new standards for Hampton Roads. It has the resources to invest in the latest technology, which in turn attracts highly talented and qualified providers. Yet, it hasn't lost the heart that underlined its initial success. Excellence in every arena- from the personal experience to effective treatment to patient education- has come to define Pariser Dermatology.

"We put thought into every part of this practice," Robert Pariser, MD explains. "Our medical technology, our support staff, our hiring decisions, everything. All of our growth has happened organically as more and more patients relied on us. We expand by bringing in the resources best suited to their needs."

Meeting patients' needs was the motivation that sparked Pariser's growth several decades ago. Dr. Robert Pariser remembers growing up in Norfolk when his father, Dr. Harry Pariser, founded the practice. It was a small one-man operation in 1946, treating neighbors at an office downtown. Dr. David Pariser joined his father in the practice in 1976, and Dr. Robert followed in 1978. Since then, they have been determined to bring innovation in dermatology to Hampton Roads.

Dr. David Pariser, Managing Partner, and Dr. Robert Pariser put their heads together so that medicine, business, and personal compassion could converge. They connected with like-minded providers and support staff to open new locations. Patient education was deemed a high priority, with technicians taking the time to explain every detail and answer every question.

Robert Pariser, MD

The Parisers' pioneering spirit inspired a clinical research initiative to help effective new treatments reach the public sooner. Virginia Clinical Research (VCR), an independent enterprise led by the Parisers, formally conducts FDA-compliant studies on treatments seeking FDA approval. Since extensive testing on a new treatment can be costly and time-consuming, helpful new treatments can get needlessly bogged down in the approval stage. When the Parisers saw how many local patients were willing to do their part, they began conducting clinical trials in the Norfolk location.

"Even if a patient can't find proper treatment available on the market yet, they shouldn't give up," Dr. Pariser notes. "Exciting new options are under development. A clinical trial gives patients early access to potential new treatments, along with the satisfaction of having helped the treatment reach other patients sooner. This allows patients to play a small part in medical history. Patients who come to our practice for medical visits can get information about studies that may interest them."

Tireless efforts by clinical researchers first paid off about two decades ago when biologics were introduced. Chronic conditions like psoriasis and eczema, sometimes severe enough to disrupt a patient's daily life, were tamed at last. Dr. Pariser recalls the flood of suffering patients who came in for relief upon learning of this breakthrough. Patients who'd spent their lives nursing rashes were finally able to sleep through the night. Overjoyed at the results, Virginia Clinical Research pressed on into new frontiers.

"All of our growth has happened organically
as more and more patients relied on us.
We expand by bringing in
the resources best suited to their needs."

- Robert Pariser, MD

As the biologic breakthrough re-invigorated dermatology, a medical student named Kelly DeHart was in West Virginia trying to choose his destiny. He attended a seminar on the field of dermatology, which showed him an amazing world of subcutaneous conditions at the forefront of modern research. By 2008, he was a board-certified dermatologist.

One of his schoolmates, Molly Smith, MD, had joined Pariser, where she found a niche in dermatopathology. She told Dr. DeHart about Pariser's high standards, modern access, and genuine patient care. He joined the practice 12 years ago and never looked back. And four years later, Dr. Kelly DeHart's identical twin brother, Dr. Kevin DeHart, also joined the staff at Pariser Dermatology.

"I have every available tool to care for my patients, and I'm surrounded by an amazing team working for patient success," Dr. DeHart shares. "Patients who come to us get answers and solutions. It makes me love my job all the more!"

Teamwork is a popular word among Pariser employees. Clinical Supervisor Shelly Carpenter, who's been with the practice since 1984, plays an integral role in leading Pariser's exemplary technician team. When asked to describe her job, her passion for patient empowerment quickly begins to animate her voice. She speaks of removing obstacles to care, standing up to insurance companies, finding less invasive diagnostic tools, and comforting children in pain. She also does public speaking on skin cancer prevention to slow the rise of skin cancer in young adults.

Dr. Rachel Byrd, Shelly Carpenter and Dr. Kelly DeHart

"We're pathfinders in dermatology. We open new avenues and offer new solutions in a much-needed field," Shelly remarks. "I'm thankful to the Pariser family, and all of our wonderful providers, for giving us this incredible practice where we can make a difference."

The physicians at Pariser Dermatology recommend a yearly skin exam starting in adulthood. Tanning beds, pollution, and other factors are now causing problems for some patients as early as their twenties. A dermatologist can check hard-to-reach places, examine suspicious areas, and even discuss safe cosmetic options. Children who struggle with excessive acne or chronic inflammation can also benefit from a visit to Pariser Dermatology.

Since 1946 the practice has grown to include 16 physicians, five physician assistants, a nurse practitioner and four aestheticians. The services and expertise have expanded to include Mohs surgery, dermatopathology, many forms of light therapies, and a full range of cosmetic dermatology services. Patients can be seen at any of the six office locations in the Hampton Roads area from Williamsburg to Virginia Beach. For those not able to be seen in person, Pariser's teledermatology solution, InTeleDerm, is an option. Patients can be treated by one of Pariser Dermatology's board-certified dermatologists, 24 hours a day, anywhere they have an internet connection by going online and sending in clear pictures of their skin conditions.

"I tell patients to contact us whenever they're in doubt," Dr. DeHart says. "We're always looking for new ways to make the process easier and more effective. Patients are often surprised by how much we have to offer."

Pariser Dermatology Specialists’ office in the Greenbrier area of Chesapeake is the newest of six locations throughout Hampton Roads.

Pariser Dermatology

6160 Kempsville Circle, Suite 200A
Norfolk, VA 23510