A board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Susan M. Stuart offers a wide range of medical spa and dermatologic services for San Diego patients. At her practice in La Jolla, CA, she offers some of today’s latest skin care options, including laser hair removal, Fraxel® laser treatments, and BOTOX® Cosmetic. Considered one of San Diego’s leading experts in laser dermatology, her expertise and warm personality have often been featured in the media. She prides herself on providing care that is compassionate and cutting-edge.
Susan Stuart, MD
Dr. Stuart is a dermatologist certified by the American Board of Dermatology. She studied medicine at Tulane University, completing a dermatology training program at Emory University, followed by a pediatric dermatology fellowship at Stanford University Medical Center. Dr. Stuart is a member of the American Society of Laser Medicine & Surgery and the American Society of Dermatologic surgery. She is a leading authority on the medical causes and treatments for hair loss in both men and women.
In 2005, the two launched La Jolla Skin Plastic Surgery and Cosmetic Dermatology in La Jolla, California, with the
goal of providing a comprehensive approach to cosmetic enhancement. “We share a passion for medicine and people. Because our two specialties are complementary, we felt our synergy would benefit patients,” says Dr. Stuart. “We discuss challenging cases and use our individual perspectives and strengths to create solutions.” For example, a patient concerned with facial aging made an appointment to learn more about Botox and dermal fillers.
Dr. Stuart felt that she needed a facelift to achieve the results she was seeking, so she asked Dr. Chaffoo to step
in. He examined the patient and agreed that surgery was the best option to address her aging features. A few weeks
later he performed the surgery. “When I saw her recently for Botox she thanked me for my honesty and referral for plastic surgery,” Dr. Stuart says. “If she had gone to another dermatology practice I’m certain the outcome would have been much different; physicians sometimes are reluctant to refer patients outside of their practice for several reasons, many of which are financially driven.” The Road to Dermatol Dr. Stuart’s career spans more than 20 years. “I first became fascinated by dermatology when I was a swim instructor and lifeguard as a teenager. The job taught me not only what the sun could do to the skin, but also how I could make a positive impact on people’s lives just by educating them about sun protection and healthy living,” says Dr. Stuart. “Helping others achieve better health through swimming instruction, and even improved self-esteem, fueled my decision to become a doctor.” After receiving her medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, she completed a fellowship in pediatric dermatology at Stanford University and her dermatology residency at the prestigious Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. One of her early mentors was Nia Terezakis, MD. “I met her when I was a student at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans. As a woman and an accomplished dermatologist, Dr. Terezakis epitomized the ideal physician for me: innovator, scientist and artist,” recalls Dr. Stuart. “I was also influenced by Ira Greene, MD, who was a dermatologist on the faculty at Stanford while I was a medical student.
He was extremely encouraging and supportive of me. ”Following residency, she joined Dermatology Associates in
San Diego, a group practice founded by Richard Fitzpatrick, MD, that included 10 other dermatologists. This was in 1994, and the practice was already incorporating a number of laser procedures as well as sclerotherapy treatments. Some of her colleagues were early adopters and researchers in the use of CO2 lasers for skin resurfacing. This helped put Dr. Stuart on the cutting edge of aesthetic dermatology care,which led to a variety of media appearances, including guest spots on ABC News and 20/20. After dividing her time between medical and cosmetic dermatology for more than a decade, Dr. Stuart decided to focus exclusively on the type of work she loved most: aesthetics. “I was drawn to private practice ownership as it allowed me to create a patient-centered practice where I can evaluate and treat each patient based upon my own high standards with a focus on a personalized approach,” she says. “This cannot always be accomplished within an institutional setting where patient relationships are not the priority. I am really a people person at heart. That’s what drove me to medicine in the first place. “Working with Dermatology Associates, which is also where I met my husband Richard, prepared me to meet the demands of San Diego County’s high-end clientele,” continues Dr. Stuart. “Understanding their needs and thriving on the relationships I’ve built with my patients has helped me to maintain a successful practice in La Jolla’s competitive cosmetic dermatology market.