UC Health dermatologists Hugh Gloster, MD, and Adam Ingraffea, MD, were among nearly 80 dermatologists to visit Cuba at a dermatologist information exchange organized by the Skin Cancer Foundation.
Both Gloster and Ingraffea are skin cancer experts on faculty in the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine Department of Dermatology and are members of the UC Cancer Institute.
While their visas did not permit the group of visiting dermatologists to go inside clinics or hospitals, doctors from both countries were able to present on their standards of dermatological care and current practices at an informal gathering during the seven day stay.
Ingraffea, an assistant professor in the department of dermatology, summarized the health care system in Cuba as "having a ton of well-trained doctors and they do a lot of primary care there, but it is basically a Third World country with universal health care. They have more dermatologists per capita skin cancer is on the rise there with 8,000 to 10,000 cases a year but they dont have many treatments for skin cancer or a lot of modern technology.
"It was really neat to see the different way of doings things and how the same profession operates in a completely different system.
Ingraffea says there are talks underway to bring a Cuban dermatologist to Cincinnati to train with him and Gloster on Mohs surgery, a microscopically controlled surgery used to treat common types of skin cancer. During the surgery, after each removal of tissue, the pathologist examines the tissue specimen for cancer cells, and that examination informs the surgeon where to remove tissue next.