In this month’s Fellows Spotlight, we connect with Dr. Daniela Armijo, a 2018 IPC Fellow. She shares insights from her mentorship with IPC Honorary Founder Professor Chris Griffiths and discusses her involvement in the Global Psoriasis Atlas (GPA). As a recently appointed IPC Councilor, Dr. Armijo reflects on her experience in the IPC International Fellowship Program and its impact on her professional journey.
Dr. Armijo entered the 2018 IPC Fellowship while still in her last year of dermatology residency at the Universidad de Chile. During the Fellowship, she was mentored by Professor Chris Griffiths at Salford Royal Hospital in Manchester, United Kingdom, where she engaged in clinical observations on psoriasis patients, attended outpatient clinics, and participated in follow-up consultations on biological therapies. Simultaneously, I learned from a skilled team of psoriasis dermatologists at the hospital, including IPC Councilors Dr. Elise Kleyn, Dr. Helen Young, and Professor Richard Warren.
Dr. Armijo had the opportunity to get an inside look at the GPA, allowing her to participate actively in project activities and outreach campaigns. Spending time with psoriasis researchers from Manchester University, she had the opportunity to learn about their ongoing projects and research areas related to psoriasis.
“The Fellowship Program equipped me with the knowledge, experience, and tools necessary to enhance my medical practice, particularly caring for people with psoriasis,” says Dr. Armijo. Since completing the Fellowship, she has coordinated the psoriasis working group at the Chilean Society of Dermatology and has worked with local representatives to ensure biological treatment is more accessible to psoriasis patients. “I am particularly proud to have recently been chosen as an IPC Councilor, a testament to the impact of the Fellowship program on my professional journey,” reflects Dr. Armijo.
During the Fellowship program, Dr. Armijo gained valuable expertise in treating psoriasis patients and utilizing systemic therapies for complex clinical cases. While in Manchester, she actively participated in the Psoriasis Shout Out Week, contributing to patient education and awareness activities. This experience inspired Dr. Armijo, who stated, “This experience deeply motivated me to create and implement patient support activities after returning to Chile.”
Dedicating herself to the cause, she emphasizes, “I have been working on this research area since I was aware of the importance of the patients getting to know their disease and treatments. Creating awareness with the patients’ families and the rest of the population is also important.”
In Chile, Dr. Armijo played a crucial role in the “Treating Psoriasis Campaign” initiated by Dr. Claudia De la Cruz, an IPC Board Member. This campaign, launched during the pandemic, aimed to provide support, information, and to establish community-related groups for patients and their families.
Facing challenging clinical cases post-Fellowship, Dr. Armijo leveraged the IPC network established during the program. Connecting with experts in the field helped her address therapeutic complexities and embark on research projects.
“The Fellowship Program equipped me with the knowledge, experience, and tools necessary to enhance my medical practice, particularly caring for people with psoriasis."
Since 2018, Dr. Armijo has benefited from the evolving scientific landscape and advancements in knowledge. As an alumna of the IPC Fellowship Program, she attests, “Being part of the IPC Fellowship has allowed me to stay updated regarding new medical information.”
Dr. Armijo has successfully implemented and adapted what she learned from the program, such as the patient-centered approach, patient education, and understanding patient perspectives, to her local conditions and knowledge. These integrations have significantly enhanced her medical practice, allowing Dr. Armijo to consider all available alternatives in her country.
Dr. Armijo encourages maximizing learning opportunities and professional development during the IPC Fellowship. She states, “The IPC Fellowship Program, led by a globally acclaimed dermatologist team, allows you to increase your knowledge of psoriasis. In addition, it allows you to learn from the different world realities and to get in touch with a vast network of professionals.”
If you are a young dermatologist or researcher passionate about improving the lives of people with psoriasis and want to expand your horizons, consider applying to participate in IPC’s International Fellowship Program. Applications for the 2025 program will open in September 2024.