WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Dr. Amy McMichael is a board-certified dermatologist. For 27 years she’s dedicated much of her life to building up the Dermatology Research Unit at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist training the next generation of dermatologists.
“I’ve run the residency, I’ve run the clinic,” McMichael said. “Just have had a wonderful group of people to both mentor me and whom I mentor now as a senior faculty member.”
Dr. McMichael is currently Chair of the Dermatology Department – making her the first Black female chair at Wake Forest Baptist. WFMY News 2’s Lauren Coleman asked McMichael why it was important for her to go into the field of dermatology.
“One of the places where I saw a niche was skin of color,” McMichael said. “It really wasn’t a thing then, but because I was of color and I think I saw places where we weren’t really delivering the care that we should to people with skin of color it was sort of in my mind that we need to do that.”
Throughout her career, she’s published over 100 journal articles and delivered more than 250 lectures around the world. She said understanding Black History inspires her daily.
“Just getting our message out that people of color are what made this country what it is today and that there are so many opportunities that we still need to provide for our patients in this country of color.”
As a wife and mother of two, Dr. McMichael hopes her story will inspire young people of all backgrounds to follow their dreams even when they feel like no one recognizes them.
“You have to rise above that, and you have to not let closed doors stop you,” McMichael said. “You have to look for where the door is cracked open just a little bit and put your foot in and figure out a way to get through it. Not push your way in, but actually, work successfully to make people recognize that you are worthy of being behind that door.”
Dr. McMichael has chaired the dermatology department at Wake Forest Baptist for ten years.