When I think of San Francisco dermatologist Vic Narurkar, MD, I don’t think of all of his professional accomplishments (and there were many) or charitable work. I first interviewed him about tattoo removal, and his intelligence, passion, and authenticity struck me immediately. He truly cared about his patients and about science. Through the years, he always got back to me expediently when I was on a deadline, and he was never afraid to speak up and out on controversial topics, offering wisdom and caution.
When I think of him, however, I think of how much he loved his wire-haired dachshund, Mavis. He loved that dog as much as I loved mine (and that is saying a lot), and he carried that gorgeous terrier with him wherever he went—and he went a lot of cool places.
Dr. Narurkar was a member of the editorial board of Practical Dermatology® magazine. We will miss him, and the entire staff sends condolences to his family and friends.
Below, some of his colleagues and friends reflect on what they learned from Dr. Narurkar.
—Denise Mann, Editor at Large
From the moment we met in 1993 when I was interviewing for a Mohs fellowship at Cleveland Clinic and Vic was already the senior fellow (he went to college crazy early—that’s how smart he was!), my image of him is smiling and waving his hand while telling me not to worry about what other people do or think, not to lower yourself to the level of the haters, the connivers, or the rabble rousers, and to do what makes sense to you. Vic, you are and will continue to be missed, my friend.
—Heidi A Waldorf, MD
I have known Vic for almost 20 years. I do not remember how I met him; he would know that because he always knew everything. Vic was absolutely brilliant, with a photographic memory. He just appeared in my life, and made me better. He made me reach higher, and I wanted to live up to his standards. Vic was a connector, and he connected me to so many people and so many experiences. Vic demanded the best from the dermatology world, the pharmaceutical/device/laser industries, his colleagues, his staff, and his friends. He was a prolific author, and I believe he has published more than 200 scientific papers. We worked separately on many of the same cosmetic clinical trials. He would always ask me what I thought about the latest technology that we were investigating, and give his unbridled criticism or satisfaction with what we were tasked with. Evidence-based medicine was one of his most important motivators. He always needed proof of what worked, and how it worked. “#NoPosers” was his motto!
Vic was an influencer, and a thought leader. He ran the Unplugged session at the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery and this was one of his favorite things to do during the year as well as being a cofounder of Cosmetic Boot Camp. He traveled and lectured around the world with his dear husband Mike and their dog Mavis.
Always extremely loyal, I could talk to him about any and everything. We were both brown people in the world of dermatology, and many times we saw things from our unique perspectives. We were the same, but we were different and that was one of our many significant bonds. Vic would call me and never say hello but start the conversation chuckling. I would smile and just feel myself relax. At the end of most of our conversations, he would never say goodbye… he would say, “To be continued.” It is with great sadness that I will now continue on without him, and Vic has made me a better person. I was honored and privileged to be his friend. The dermatology world has lost one of its giants.
—Jeanine Downie, MD
Vic and I were dermatology residents together at Stanford. I have known him for more than 30 years. Vic was the original Doogie Howser. I could never quite figure out how we were at the same place, but he was 10 years younger than me. He was one of the first dermatologists to acknowledge, carefully study, and publish on new laser technologies. He believed in science and made a clear distinction between what he considered “fake science” and scientific fact. Vic lifted everyone around him to a higher standard. He was ethical beyond belief and he cared tremendously about his patients, colleagues and friends.
He was also passionate about gay rights. He suffered in residency from harassment due to his sexual orientation and stood up for himself and others during a time when homosexuality was heavily stigmatized. This heroism should not go unnoticed. Vic and his cohorts paved the way for acceptance of sexual identity differences. We owe him so much and our specialty is so much greater for Vic’s contributions.
—Kathleen Welsh, MD
I first met Dr. Narurkar over a quarter century ago when we shared a room at a Derm Surgery Conference while we were doing our fellowships. Over the years our friendship grew. He has been a leader in his field. His success both professionally and in his personal life came through his generosity in serving others. He was loved by his patients, friends, and family. He was always willing to help a colleague. His brilliance and sense of humor were unparalleled. We are all shocked by his untimely death and will miss him dearly.
—Jerome Potozkin, MD