Dermatologists watching the “Seinfeld” sitcom in November 1997 got their dander up when characters Jerry and George called a female physician in that medical specialty an “aloe pusher.” When a patient thanked that character for saving his life by detecting skin cancer, the men realized that they owed her an apology.
Dr. Tami Cassis has never seen that episode, but people often mention it to her. Those flaky “Seinfeld” characters would have known better than to disparage dermatology if they had visited her practice, Cassis Dermatology & Aesthetics Center (9301 Dayflower St. in Norton Commons). The recipient of honors such as Louisville Magazine’s 2009 “Top Doc” and Business First’s 2006 “40 Under 40,” she treats skin conditions from acne (never a laughing matter for teens) to warts, and plays a life-saving role for patients suffering from cancer or burns.
After growing up in Wisconsin, Cassis received her medical degree at the University of Louisville in 2001, and she built her reputation in Los Angeles, New Orleans and Boca Raton, Fla., before opening the center in 2008. Since 2005, she has been an assistant clinical professor at U of L and a member of the volunteer faculty at the Veterans Administration Hospital. When she is on call, hospital physicians contact her for help with burns or unusual rashes.
“Dermatology is the perfect balance for me. It lets me help my patients from a medical, surgical and cosmetic standpoint,” she said. “The medical part includes treating problems such as psoriasis. Here at our center, we use lasers, injectable fillers, neurotoxins (such as Botox and Dysport), chemical peels and other options for cosmetic treatments. And we have an aesthetician and a massage therapist, so we pretty much do everything.”
Cassis also offers a procedure called photodynamic (or blue light) therapy. A photosynthesizing agent is applied to areas of the skin that have received the most exposure to the sun, or that have the doctor concerned; after a wait of about 30 minutes to an hour and a half, a special blue light is shone on the skin.
“The light will penetrate and go after any precancerous cells,” Cassis explained. “Patients look sunburned afterward, and peel a little, but any atypical cells appear redder and peel more, letting us know where they are.”
Although seeking out and eliminating skin cancers are among the clinical challenges she faces, Cassis has found that “knowing when to say when” is more difficult.
“I want to treat as many patients as I can, but there is only so much I can do in a day,” she said. “I love what I do, and I’m fortunate to have probably the nicest patients on the planet.”
Cassis Dermatology & Aesthetics Center is open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For information, visit www.cassisderm.com or call (502) 326-8588.
Category: Business Profile