Alumni Board Specialty Spotlight

Paul Benedetto, MD (IM'09, D'12, MSDO'13)

Paul Benedetto, MD (IM’09, D’12, MSDO’13), is Chair of the Dermatology Department at Cleveland Clinic Florida and the Alumni Association Board Specialty Director for Dermatology.

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Q. Describe your current position.

A. I currently serve as Chair of the Dermatology Department for Cleveland Clinic Florida. Our group of five physicians and three APPs sees patients in four sites across South Florida. I am a dermatologist and Mohs surgeon by training, and most of my time is spent in the clinical care of patients with skin cancer. I also volunteer as a core surgical faculty member for the dermatology residency at Broward Health in Fort Lauderdale.

Q. What led you to a career in medicine?

A. Growing up in a household in which my father, Anthony V. Benedetto, MD (D’78), was a physician (and, incidentally, a Mohs surgeon and Cleveland Clinic alumnus as well!) and my mother was a former Cleveland Clinic nurse, I a waffled between curiosity and awe about this profession, and a sense of wanting to plot my own course. There were many times as a kid that I would visit my dad in his office, interact with his patients and experience first-hand the gratitude they felt for him. That certainly was inspiring. However, early in my college career, I pursued other interests. I came to the decision towards the end of college, and then completed my science prerequisites in a post-baccalaureate, pre-medical program at the University of Pennsylvania. In doing so, I was able to shadow many different clinicians, solidifying my desire to pursue a career in medicine.

Q. Why do you choose to serve on the Alumni Board?

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A. I was honored to be asked by Allison Vidimos, RPh, MD (D’89, DS’91), Chair of Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Dermatology, to serve in this role. Since I continue to feel that the opportunity I was given to train at Cleveland Clinic was an honor, I wanted to show my gratitude in accepting the position. Further, I made great friends while in training, but as the years go by, we see less and less of one another. I thought this would be a great opportunity to foster those connections, not only for me and my friends, but to help other alumni rekindle their friendships.

Q. Please share a favorite memory from your training at Cleveland Clinic, and who is your mentor?

Dr. Benedetto welcomes a visit from his father, Cleveland Clinic alumnus Dr. Anthony V. Benedetto, at Cleveland Clinic Weston

A. The first day that I walked onto campus as a visiting medical student is a memory that still sticks out in my mind. My father was always a very proud CCF alumnus, and it was ingrained in me from an early age to understand what a privilege and responsibility it is to care for patients.  When I showed up for that first rotation, I was awestruck by the size and scale of the hospital.  Moreover, the warmth and collegiality of my future colleagues became immediately evident – everyone seemed happy, engaged and approachable. I knew from the start that this is how medicine should be practiced. In my time at main campus, I was fortunate to have so many great mentors. Every faculty member in the Dermatology Department really helped to shape my career and practice style. Once I left Cleveland, and prior to my current role, I had the great privilege to practice with my dad and uncle, Ernest A. Benedetto (IM’86, D’90), another CCF dermatology alum! They showed me that the skills and compassion they learned at Cleveland Clinic are permanently ingrained and set our alumni apart in the field of medicine.

Q. What is a work-related accomplishment that you’re especially proud of?

A. I think consistently receiving positive feedback from my clinical care of patients is what continues to inspire and motivate me. We all have professional interests and goals, whether it’s research or promotions or high-level participation in national societies. But at the end of the day, we do what we do for our patients. Knowing that they feel they receive the care they’ve been searching for gives me great professional satisfaction.

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Q. What do you like to do outside of work?

Dr. Benedetto and his family sport sun hats in the Bahamas

A. I am definitely a hobbyist by nature! I love to swim, bike, hike, garden, cook, listen to audiobooks and spend lots of time with my wife and children. These days, we’ve been doing a lot of boating and snorkeling around the coastal waters of South Florida, with occasional trips to the Keys and the Bahamas. We love to ski, as well, but that’s been a little more challenging since making the move to the flattest state in the U.S.

Q. Is there any advice you would like to share with future alumni?

A. Get involved with the alumni network. Remember how fortunate you are to be part of the Cleveland Clinic family. Practice medicine the way we were taught.  Enjoy the ride.