“I know what it is like to have skin cancer”
“Everyone finds it hard to believe that I have spent more than 22 years in medical education and training”. Dr Helen Raynham began her training at a medical school in Cape Town, South Africa – at the same hospital where the world’s first heart transplant was performed. “At my medical school there was a huge emphasis on training at the patient’s bedside. We had to rely on our patient examination rather than laboratory tests”. Finishing first in her class at medical school class, she was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, United Kingdom. After her PhD (D.Phil) she completed her an internal medicine residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which is affiliated with Harvard Medical School. Her love of using her clinical skills, led her to choose dermatology as a second residency. “Being a dermatologist, I can use my skills in both internal medicine and dermatology. What I love about dermatology, is that I can listen to my patients while I am examining them. When I was an internist, I wasn’t able to chat with my patients as much, as I had to listen to their heart and lungs.”
“I also enjoy treating patients of all ages – young children as well as the elderly. Many of my patients have skin cancer. Growing up in South Africa, I was exposed to a tremendous amount of sun damage. As a result, I developed skin cancer and underwent surgery. Because of my experience, I have developed a special interest in skin cancer treatment and prevention”.
When she is not treating patients, Dr Raynham enjoys spending time with her husband who is an infectious disease doctor, and her 4 children who are all hockey players. She travels frequently to South Africa, to see her extended family, and to go on safari. “When I was a child I would go on safari every year, as my grandmother had an orange farm right next to the safari park”.