New dermatologist starts practice in town
BENNINGTON -- For nearly two years, Bennington has been without a dermatologist. Those who have had to drive many miles for their medical skin care needs may now go to Southwestern Vermont Medical Center and see Dr. Lixia Ellis.
Ellis, who has a background in research, had visited the Bennington area before, specifically Shaftsbury where she now lives. She said when she heard from a friend, Dr. Jeff Yucht, who practices in SVMC’s emergency room, that Dr. Alan Binnick had retired after 33 years of practicing dermatology, she became interested in the job.
"My conversations with Bennington’s previous dermatologist, Dr. Alan Binnick, inspired me to come to SVMC and to help care for people in this community," Ellis said in a release. "The physicians I met during my interview here also were all wonderful, and the atmosphere in the hospital is very collegial and supportive."
Ellis, who earned her medical degree from Harvard Medical School in Boston before going on to complete her residency at the University of Colorado in Denver was an assistant research professor at UCLA School of Medicine where she worked in an Alzheimer’s Disease laboratory.
"I have always enjoyed science," said Ellis. "Though it was rewarding to know that by doing research, I was contributing to the development of new therapies to treat human diseases, I wanted the human connection I wasn’t getting in the laboratory. Becoming a physician was a natural transition for me."
She said when talking to Binnick she was impressed at the fact he wanted to make sure whoever took his place would do right by his patients.
"That personal connection with my patients is very important to me," said Ellis. "Dermatology involves many different aspects of care, from seeing patients in the office, to making a diagnosis from slides under a microscope, to surgery for benign skin lesions or malignant skin cancers. During my medical school years and residency, I saw many patients die early from melanoma, and I vowed to help prevent and detect this deadly skin cancer early to help save lives."
Ellis, who said she is eager to begin seeing patients, will practice out of the SVMC Medical Office Building. Those who wish to make an appointment may call 802-447-5544.
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