Kate and Chris Messana- a 360° Approach to Medicine

Today we’d like to introduce our guest lecturers, Kate and Chris Messana. The Messanas are board-certified, fellowship trained Dermatologists who are more than equipped to provide the best care for your skin. Whether you want to take the next step in having beautiful skin, or you’re concerned about a scary looking mole, Elevated Dermatology and Skin Cancer Surgery Center is undoubtedly the best place for you. Drs. Christopher and Kate Messana founded Elevated Dermatology and Skin Cancer Surgery Center to provide comprehensive care to help patients maintain healthy skin, nails, and hair. Patients receive cost-effective care in a friendly and caring environment. The facility offers a clean, efficient, and well-maintained atmosphere in a location that’s convenient for patients in the south Denver metro area.

Dr. Christopher Messana earned his medical degree at Midwestern University, Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Messana is a member of the American College of Mohs Surgery and serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of Dermatology World magazine. Dr. Messana’s path as a physician leader formally began when his medical school peers elected him student government president. He was later honored to be elected national student government president and had the privilege of serving his profession as the student representative of the American Osteopathic Association in his final year of medical school. He completed his dermatology residency training at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dr. Messana has published numerous articles in the dermatology literature and has presented at international, national and state dermatology conferences, including the American Academy of Dermatology, the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology and the Michigan Dermatological Society.

Dr. Kate Messana obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota before graduating from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine where she finished in the top 5% of her class. Dr. Messana’s path as a physician leader formally began when her peers elected her student government president. She was later elected to serve on the executive board of the national student government organization. Dr. Messana completed her dermatology residency training at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan and her leadership qualities were again recognized when she was selected to serve as chief resident for her senior year. After her residency, she was honored by being chosen from a large pool of extremely accomplished applicants from across the United States to complete an additional year of fellowship training in the subspecialty of dermatopathology at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio She is passionate about providing excellent, compassionate and personalized care for her patients using a team-based approach. Dr. Messana’s expertise includes the clinical and microscopic diagnosis and treatment of all diseases involving the skin, hair and nails, as well as surgical and cosmetic dermatology. She is a member of the American Society of Dermatopathology, American Osteopathic College of Dermatology and the American Academy of Dermatology. Dr. Messana’s distinguished training and expertise, combined with her warm and friendly approach to caring for patients make her exceptionally qualified to provide world-class dermatologic care to her patients.

Dr. Messana treasures her family, friends, and outdoor activities. She particularly enjoys hiking, biking, skiing, running, and swimming and has completed many triathlons and half-marathons. She is excited to live in the great state of Colorado with all it has to offer.

They have two beautiful daughters (Marais who is 2.5 and 11 month old Elise) that are their whole world. When they aren’t attending to patients, they spend all their free time(which is hardly any) with their daughters out hiking, swimming(although, they do use lots of sunscreen!), and anything outdoors. They both chose Dermatology for the hands on aspect and because they are visual learners. Chris comes from a long line of DO’s. His father was a trauma surgeon and his uncle and cousin were also DO’s. These two are so warm and friendly, and clearly stand out as exceptional physicians. It was very clear that they were extremely passionate about their work and their patients. This practice strives to make innovative changes to their practice and medicine. I was very impressed with the lengths that these two go to make the patient the priority.This is not just a job for them where they punch in and out with meaningless effort, but a true effort to help people become better, understand their bodies, and not have to anxiously wait for a dreaded diagnosis. This is a place that you will feel at home, and feel important.

Together, they work as a team to create a 360 degree cover of their practice. This means that they take care of every need in their office. For example if a patient comes in for a skin check, they won’t have their biopsy sent away only to hear back a week later, wondering the whole time if they possibly have cancer. No, rather the biopsy will take place in the office right then, and looked at under a microscope that day in the office by the doctor who took the biopsy, and then perform your surgery right in their office. Have you ever heard of a doctor who takes such great care of their patients? This truly shows how much they care.

The Messanas also believe in affordable and effective products. They will never recommend a product that is unrealistically expensive. They strive for cost effectiveness in everything that they do, while also keeping your skin healthy.

The Messana’s had excellent advice for medical students who are thinking about what area they want to practice in. Kate said, “Look beyond the books. You not only have to think about do you like internal or external medicine…but think about the day in and day out activities and how this is going to work in your life. Do you want to be working eight to five, or are you ok being on call. This is more than just, ‘The heart is cool’, this will become your lifestyle”.

MD vs. DO has been quite the controversy within the medical world and I was curious to see how these two physicians felt medicine varies between DO and MD.

Kate: DO vs MD’s biggest thing is osteopathic manipulative therapy. It is more hands on, with a deeper understanding of the musculo-skeletal system. The ‘Osteopathic pillars’ are great to live by, but some of them crosses over into ‘MD land’. A lot is just being a physician. I am proud to be a DO and proud to have “the physician way” which is learning to care about yourself, your family, your patients, and their families. The body tends to heal self, but sometimes it needs intervention, and thats the difference. We help the body to heal it self, and intervene when absolutely necessary.

Chris: “A lot of the concepts that distinguished us as DO’s happened much more historically. In a significant way, the pioneering philosophy and viewpoints of A.T. Still helped to push MD medicine where medicine is now. The body has a tremendous capacity to heal itself. When A.T. Still came into the picture, most medicine wasn’t very good at all. Everyone has improved since then; how we view patients, what we need to do as physicians. Today all of the best physicians are working out of the same playbook.”

“Osteopathy has changed SOOO much. They are merging much more. DO’s and MDs everywhere now. A lot of people have passed. DO’s have had a huge impact on western medicine. MD’s have changed in focusing on family, focusing on osteopathy. Complementing each other, and working together, the line is becoming blurry.”

Chris said, “It all gets down to the physician, a good physician will be a good physician. They would look the same. Patients will say, ‘I love coming to a DO, you FEEL differently, you get a different vibe, can’t put my finger on it, but there is something there’. “More relatable, more down to earth, warmer, more empathy”

Stay tuned with us next week as we talk about different types of skin cancer, what to look for, and when it is time to see the doctor.