Joanna McGetrick, MD, has a passion for protecting her patients
Board-certified dermatologist Joanna McGetrick, MD, was highly aware of the sun’s dangers long before she opened her new practice, Premier Dermatology of Lake Nona. As a native Floridian born and raised in Winter Haven, her parents slathered her in sunscreen any time she stepped outside – and for good reason. Her grandmother was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma in her forties, the most serious type of skin cancer, and was one of the first patients to survive the earliest treatment trials. This family lesson led to plenty of exposure to dermatologists throughout Joanna’s childhood and young adulthood, as well as a passion for promoting the importance of sun protection.
As a dermatologist in Florida, McGetrick often sees patients who’ve spent a lifetime in the sun. Before relocating to Central Florida to open her current practice, she practiced in Jacksonville and St. Augustine. “Working in a beach town, you unfortunately see a lot of skin cancer and very sun-damaged skin,” she said. "Part of my mission, particularly with new patients, is providing sun protection education and pre-cancer prevention, as well as resurfacing techniques and treatments.”
McGetrick received her Bachelor of Science degree from University of Florida and attended medical school at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. She completed an intensive residency at the University of Wisconsin, where she was also a chief resident for the dermatology department. The five-year program, which only accepted six people per year at the time, provided hands-on dual training in dermatology and internal medicine. This unique education qualifies her to not only treat skin problems at the surface level, but also diagnose and treat certain underlying conditions that cause them.
“Being dual-trained has positioned me to help my patients in so many ways beyond just treating the skin’s surface,” said McGetrick. “My practice can prescribe systemic medications to help patients manage advanced psoriasis. I can address treatment for conditions like lupus and all the cutaneous manifestations of chronic disease, such as diabetes. Occasionally, I'll even provide a preliminary diagnosis for internal cancers, such as colon, breast or lung cancer, based on metastases that have presented on the skin.”
Beyond the sometimes life-saving diagnoses and treatments McGetrick delivers, her favorite thing to treat is, surprisingly, acne. “Acne comes in a broad spectrum, from small flareups to deforming acne with horrible scarring – and it’s all something I can fix,” said McGetrick. “Depending on the severity, we’ll work on a treatment plan for up to a year. While this process can be labor intensive for both patients and physicians, the results make an incredible impact on patients’ self-confidence and overall quality of life.”
As she builds her practice in Central Florida, McGetrick looks forward to connecting with fellow physicians and building relationships with new patients and families that span generations. “I love dermatology because every day – and every patient – is different,” said McGetrick. “From performing cosmetic procedures to treating acne, actinic keratoses and itchy rashes to identifying problems going on inside the body based on changes in hair, skin and nails, I’m able to practice both cerebral and procedural medicine on a daily basis. Regardless of the treatment plan, I’m working to make peoples’ lives better – and it’s an incredibly rewarding feeling.”
When she’s not working, McGetrick enjoys spending time with her husband and two young children. She is an avid Gators fan who loves practicing yoga and chasing her dogs.