Dr. Kathryn Echols is a board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist, and a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. She sees patients at St. Vincent Health as a visiting specialist for all skin-related surgeries and treatments.
Dr. Echols earned her bachelor’s in biological science at the University of Georgia and then attended medical school at the Medical College of Georgia, graduating both programs with highest honors. Her internship took her to Denver where she worked with the Colorado Health Foundation and Presbyterian/St. Luke’s. She then served as chief resident in the dermatology and dermatologic surgery department at the Medical University of South Carolina. Her education and training continued with a dermatopathology fellowship at that same campus.
Dr. Echols comes from a big family in a small town, and credits her grandfather, internist Dr. Raymond Flake, as her biggest influence. “He and I have always shared a special bond. When I was a kid, he gave me his old medical bag that he used to take on house calls, and I counted it among my most prized possessions,” she says. “He is a brilliant man who has always astounded me with his knowledge, and I have always looked up to him and aspired to be as capable a physician as he was.”
As a medical student, Dr. Echols considered a career in pathology. Ultimately however, the face-to-face patient connections she values so much were missed, and she elected to pursue clinical and surgical dermatology.
What is Dr. Echols’ patient care philosophy? “I strive to treat patients how I would want to be treated, or how I would want my own family to be treated,” she says. “I love dermatology, but I also love connecting with people and learning about their lives. That’s what brings me so much joy and makes my work meaningful to me.”
Dr. Echols is passionate about skin cancer prevention and sun protection, emphasizing the elevated danger to people living at altitude. “There is a real need to provide skin checks and skin cancer evaluation for residents here,” she says. “I also provide skin and safe sun education.”
When Dr. Echols isn’t caring for patients, she’s enjoying family time with her two young sons and husband Blain, an engineer. The family has one dog, three cats and six chickens. Dr. Echols also cooks, bakes and gardens in her rare leisure time. And she’s a cyclist. “My main hobby is mountain biking,” says Dr. Echols. “I love riding on all the beautiful singletrack in our area. I also do some gravel riding and enjoy the mountain passes in the early summer before they open to car traffic.”