Veterans Day is extra meaningful at Boise Dermatology, because Dr. Brooks is herself a veteran, coming to Boise after 12 years as an army dermatologist. She served in South Korea; Washington, DC; Tacoma, Washington; North Carolina; and Baghdad, Iraq. The military was instrumental in making Dr. Brooks the professional she is today, and she explains, “the military helped pay for schooling, and helped me get started in medicine – I really appreciate that. And the training and experience which has brought me where I am today.” Dr. Brooks comes from a military family as well, which influenced her decision to serve: growing up, her father was in the military, and her grandfather served and died in World War II.
We’ve heard that you have traveled all over the globe during your 12 years as an army dermatologist. Of all the places you were stationed, which stood out the most?
Though admitting Iraq was a difficult place to live, Dr. Brooks found her work there the most rewarding, “I really enjoyed working with active duty and their families. Families go through a lot when spouses are deployed and it was great being able to help them out with their skin needs, that was rewarding.”
Dr. Brooks enjoyed living in South Korea for the wonderful international atmosphere and immersing herself in a new, fascinating culture. She worked with lots of farmworkers, however, she also worked with some South Korean military which she enjoyed and helped her learn more about their culture.
Dr. Brooks doesn’t seem to get homesick, stating that she’s usually too busy soaking up new cultures and experiences. She adds that “I grew up in the military and being in the military means moving around a lot, and I’ve come to enjoy it.”
What kind of dermatological concerns did you see most in the army, and which treatments were the most common?
Some common conditions and treatments are prevalent in both civilian and military populations such as skin cancer screenings and teaching people what to do look for in terms of moles. Eczema and acne concerns are also very common. However, due to field conditions that are often unhygienic and expose infantry to harsh environments, Dr. Brooks sees severe skin infections and rashes, as well as chronic skin diseases that have gotten out of control. Dr. Brooks explains, “once they’re on normal treatment (after special creams or antibiotics) we can teach them how to care for their skin in harsh environments.”
You were chief of dermatology at Ft. Bragg, NC. Tell us about your experience there.
Dr. Brooks grew up partly in North Carolina, and she mentions that it was nice to be there again. She also adds that her leadership experience taught her how to run things smoothly, “to be as efficient as possible, while providing the best possible care.”
What made you decide to make the change from being an army dermatologist to opening your own practice?
Dr. Brooks explains that “the army prepared me for a leadership role.” She worked at another dermatology clinic right out of the army but then decided to start her own. After all, she’d had plenty of experience through the army, and knew how to run an office efficiently, while giving the best care to her patients. Southern Idaho attracted her due to its lifestyle, with lots of outdoor activities like hiking and skiing. The region is growing and there’s a nice mix of people and nature. “It’s a good place to raise a family”, she explains.
On Veterans Day we take a moment to thank veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice, and Dr. Brooks would like to offer active duty service members, veterans, and their spouses (with military ID): 20% off ALL retail products and 20% off ANY series of 3 or more treatments all month long.*
Call us today to make your appointment: (208) 888-0660 .
*Promotion expires 11/30/2019.