International Psoriasis Council

Advancing Knowledge. Improving Care.

Advancing Knowledge. Improving Care.

Shining a Spotlight on our 2022 Fellows: Get to Know the Future Leaders in Psoriasis – Natalia Merino, MD

Natalia Merino, MD

Edgardo Rebagliati Martins National Hospital

Lima, Peru


Can you tell us briefly about your background and what led you to apply for this program?

In the early stages of my medical residency, I found myself particularly drawn to the dermatology field; within it, I developed a deep fascination for psoriasis. After completing my specialty, I sought ways to specialize further in this field. When I discovered the IPC International Fellowship Program, I recognized it as the perfect opportunity to enhance my knowledge and further explore my passion for psoriasis management.

How has this program helped you grow personally and professionally?

Being a part of this fellowship has been an incredible boost to my dermatology career. It provided me access to experienced professionals in psoriasis management and exposed me to global clinical research in this field.

“The IPC International Fellowship stands out by providing theoretical classes and facilitating interactions with other passionate dermatologists specializing in psoriasis. This creates a rich and supportive community that encourages growth and learning together.” 

How has the program prepared you for your future career goals?

IPC’s Fellowship Program has been crucial in laying a solid foundation for my future career aspirations. The well-structured curriculum encompassed a diverse range of topics related to psoriasis management. Expert-led classes familiarized me with the latest treatments and instilled in me a comprehensive approach to handling unique and challenging scenarios. Additionally, my participation in co-mentoring groups proved to be an eye-opening experience. Through these groups, I gained invaluable insights into managing psoriasis in patients with cardiovascular disease and chronic infections. These learnings have undoubtedly prepared me to confidently face future challenges in my practice.

Can you share a specific project or accomplishment you're proud of from your time in the program?

During my fellowship, I had the honor of collaborating with Dr. Claudia De la Cruz, MD, from Chile. Together, we initiated a study on psoriasis epidemiology in Peru, addressing the country’s lack of current data. Our survey aims to bridge this gap, providing valuable insights to enhance patient care and psoriasis management. Currently, we are diligently conducting the survey for this purpose.

How has the program fostered collaboration and networking among IPC Board, Councilors, and Fellows?

The IPC fosters collaboration and networking by involving Fellows and the IPC community in their numerous clinical research projects. This allows the Fellows to remain actively engaged in the field of psoriasis.

IPC’s Fellowship Program fosters collaborations and networking among IPC Fellows, Board Members, and Councilors. Through IPC’s multitude of clinical research projects, all members of the community, including Fellows, are encouraged to actively participate in topics that align with their interests and expertise. This inclusive approach facilitates valuable collaborations and ensures that we remain at the forefront of developments in the dynamic world of psoriasis management.

Can you describe the mentorship and support you've received from the program faculty, IPC staff, and other IPC Fellows?

The mentorship and support I received during the fellowship have been instrumental in shaping my journey. I was fortunate to have Dr. Claudia de la Cruz from Clinica Dermacross in Chile as my mentor during the fellowship. Together, we initiated the psoriasis survey in Peru. Additionally, I built strong connections with other exceptional Fellows from Latin America and across the globe, providing an invaluable network for psoriasis projects. The entire IPC community is incredibly supportive and friendly.

What advice would you give to someone considering applying for this program?

If you are considering applying for the IPC Fellowship Program, I wholeheartedly recommend it. The benefits of this program extend far beyond the classroom and research projects. By joining this program, you will be granted access to some of the world’s most esteemed experts in psoriasis management. The exposure and connections you gain will prove to be transformative for your career.

In what ways do you think this program is unique and sets itself apart from other programs?

The IPC International Fellowship stands out by providing theoretical classes and facilitating interactions with other passionate dermatologists specializing in psoriasis. This creates a rich and supportive community that encourages growth and learning together. The program also goes beyond the fellowship duration; it enables lasting connections with IPC and mentors, ensuring a continuous exchange of knowledge and support. Lastly, the program’s emphasis on attending meetings and visiting mentors adds a practical and hands-on dimension to the learning process, which I believe is crucial for a holistic understanding of psoriasis management. Undoubtedly, it’s an excellent platform to continue growing as a dermatologist.

If you are a young dermatologist or researcher that is passionate about improving the lives of people with psoriasis and wants to expand your horizons, consider applying to participate in the IPC’s International Fellowship Program. Applications for the 2024 program will open this September.

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