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Clinical Observation

In this section, we highlight the human side of clinical academic medicine, putting a few questions to a physician at DMS-DHMC.

Kathryn Zug, M.D., DC '84 and DMS '88 Associate Professor of Medicine (Dermatology)

Zug, who joined the faculty in 1995, practices general dermatology and has an interest in allergic contact dermatitis and cutaneous lymphomas. She is also director of the dermatology residency program.

What famous doctor, living or dead, would you most like to spend a day shadowing?

Barbara Gilchrest, chair of Boston University's dermatology department. She's a leader in dermatology and a brilliant scientist. Recently she wowed our dermatology section with a presentation about her research on telomeres and their potential role in cancer therapy.

What was the last book you read?

Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods. I laughed out loud and dreamt of hiking the Appalachian Trail. Other recent reads were the Archer Mayor mystery books. But [my time for] pleasure reading has been minimal.

What's the last movie you saw in a theater?

Mary Poppins—maybe. Does that tell you something about my home life with three children under the age of five? I'm definitely going to see Seabiscuit at the theater!

What's your favorite nonwork activity?

Spending time with my kids either playing at home or outdoors. I also enjoy gardening, hiking, and running.

If you could travel anywhere you've never been, where would it be

Rome or Greece—to see the ancient sites of historical and artistic interest. I would also love to visit the world's great botanical gardens, like Kew Gardens in Great Britain.

Who was your medical mentor?

While I was a medical student, Dick Baughman inspired me to do research on psoriasis. Another mentor was Tom Lawley, the current dean of medicine at Emory, who hired me for my first job in academic medicine. He also suggested that I work with Dr. Frances Storrs—an expert in contact dermatitis, a researcher, and a politically minded, devoted humanitarian—through the Women's Dermatologic Society Mentorship Program. She has had a profound influence on my career.

What are the greatest joy and the greatest frustration in your work?

The joy is the daily interaction with patients, a sense that well-applied skills are helping people with difficult problems, and the creative aspects of directing the residency program. The frustration is paperwork, phone messages piling up, not having time to spend with patients.

Of what professional accomplishment are you most proud?

Being elected to the North American Contact Dermatitis Group. [It] affirms that my work has value and promise.

What do family and colleagues give you a hard time about?

Working too much; worrying too much; being too cautious; and loving Vermont, Dartmouth, and the Upper Valley.

What about you would surprise most people who know you?

I was a Spanish major at Dartmouth and spent several terms as a teaching assistant. I still keep a picture of [Dartmouth language professor] John Rassias in my desk!

What music or radio programs do you listen to most?

National Public Radio. I love the variety of stories, the topical information.

If you weren't a physician, what would you like to be?

When I retire, I would like to raise awareness and money for efforts that benefit the welfare of children and their families.

If you would like to offer any feedback about this article, we would welcome getting your comments at DartMed@Dartmouth.edu.

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