The Dermatology Interest Group Association (DIGA) would like to dedicate this website to Kelly Werlinger, MD, founder and first president of the DIGA. Her work and life serves as inspiration to our efforts to bring together medical students interested in dermatology and to help create better and more compassionate physicians for our patients, now and forever.
Dr. Werlinger graduated from Brown University with a degree in psychology with honors. She then attended UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, graduating with Distinction in Research in June, 2006. While at UT Southwestern, she established DIGA so that medical students interested in dermatology would have the opportunity to network and collaborate on research and service projects. From her initial foundational work, DIGA has expanded greatly and now includes chapters at more than 60 medical schools nationwide.
Kelly faithfully served others throughout her life, volunteering at the Agape free dermatology clinic during all four of her years of medical school. She was a natural leader and recruited other students to join her at Agape, creating a volunteer program that continues to this day. She exhibited unyielding commitment to her patients and showed special interest in treating women with vulvar skin disease. Her contributions were appreciated by colleagues and her grateful patients alike. Kelly also showed great intellectual curiosity as a student and researcher. She worked on a number of clinical research projects, including a study investigating the prevalence of melasma in Hispanic women in the Dallas-Forth Worth area, a first in community-based research on melasma in entire United States. During her short research career, she published several scientific articles and particiapted in several poster and oral presentations at national meetings.
Sadly, Dr. Werlinger passed away on July 9th, 2006. She was a marvelous, talented person who touched many lives with her compassion. She is greatly missed by family, friends, and colleagues and will be remembered as a caring, compassionate physician and a wonderful friend.