Rare honour for Waikato medic

00:46, Dec 04 2012
Amanda Oakley
Waikato Hospital dermatologist Amanda Oakley.

A Waikato dermatologist has been awarded a rare honour - Honorary Membership of the American Academy of Dermatology.

The award is rarely given to a non-American citizen, but Waikato Hospital dermatologist Amanda Oakley will receive it in March next year.

Earlier this year Dr Oakley was nominated as an International Honorary Member in the American Dermatological Association.

The association is a small prestigious organisation of about 300 members. Dr Oakley has been a member of the 18,000-strong academy for 20 years as an international fellow.

''They both came as a bit of a surprise. Both are a huge honour," Dr Oakley said.

Although no reason was given for her elevation in the world of dermatology, she strongly suspects it is linked to her work with creating and managing DermNetNZ.org, the website of the New Zealand Dermatological Society. 


The site receives one million visitors each month and is popular among dermatologists and other health professionals worldwide.

Dr Oakley started work on the site in 1995, getting it up and running the following year. 

Since then there has been "non-stop expansion". While she describes herself as a "cutter and paster" the site has helped revolutionise medical digital referencing. 

Dr Oakley qualified from Bristol University Medical School in 1979 and then emigrated to New Zealand.Her postgraduate training in dermatology was undertaken in New Zealand and the United Kingdom (Westminster and Durham).

She has been a specialist dermatologist for Health Waikato since 1987.

She is a general dermatologist particularly interested in the management of ageing skin including medical management of skin cancers, photosensitivity disorders, phototherapy, psoriasis and gynaecological skin disorders.