We’re excited to start a series of blogs on New River Dermatology team members, and there’s no better man to start with than our fearless leader, Dr. Hurd! With two decades of experience and powerful philosophies about patient care, Dr. Hurd is one of the NRV’s go-to dermatologists.
Dr. Hurd has been a dermatologist for 20 years. Since childhood, he dreamed of becoming a physician, and found his path in dermatology his 4th year of medical school. “My visual recall seemed to put me in front of the other people in my dermatology classes,” he said. “What I saw, I remembered. And when you realize you’re good at something, you’re more motivated to get into it.” That visual component is still what he loves about this field. “I get to see externally what patients have going on with them. They can’t hide their disease. And because of that, I can visually track their improvement in response to therapy, and I can see visual clues as to how our treatments are working for them.”
Dermatology is incredibly varied as a field, because it deals with any and all things pertaining to the skin. From acne to psoriasis to cancer to contact dermatitis, dermatologists are trained to diagnose and treat them all. “I get to see everyone from newborns to 104-year-olds,” Dr. Hurd said. “I might go into one room and treat a rash, another room and biopsy a mole, another room and freeze off precancerous spots.” That variety is something Dr. Hurd really enjoys.
Dr. Hurd’s strength isn’t just dermatology’s visual nature. It’s also in patient care. He’s won Our Health Roanoke & New River Valley’s “Best Bedside Manner” about 15 times for his excellent approach. His staff celebrates how he goes above and beyond for his patients, working them into schedules when they ask for unexpected appointments and working overtime to make sure patients can hear results and treatment plans as soon as possible. “When you’re in healthcare, it’s more than just ‘the customer comes first’,” he explained. “You have to add in the humanitarian part. Professionalism comes into the practice through genuine concern, empathy, compassion. As a patient, you want to be heard, listened to, treated with respect.”
He used the comparison of a “cookbook patient”, someone who comes in with a list of symptoms and the doctor simply prescribes a predetermined list of solutions. “If you’re not building your practice on those relationships and listening, then you’ll just prescribe medicine and move on. Patients don’t want that,” he said. “We address you as an individual, each and every time they come it, even if they come in for a follow-up. You have to listen and learn what they need that day.”
When Dr. Hurd isn’t caring for our patients, he enjoys staying healthy and active through exercise, eating good food, and racing cars. Yep, Dr. Hurd has a need for speed! He also likes to spend time with his family, loved ones, and close friends.
Thank you, Dr. Hurd, for keeping our practice focused on creating a family among us, and for showing compassion and support to every patient who comes through the door!