ABD Profile - Marta J. Petersen - Associate Executive Director, Candidate, Program and Diplomate Relations

Meet the ABD Associate Executive Director, Candidate, Program and Diplomate Relations
Marta J. Petersen, MD

Petersen Headshot

Marta Petersen, M.D., is a professor of dermatology and vice chair of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Utah (UofU) School of Medicine in Salt Lake City. Until earlier this year (2021), she also was dermatology section chief at the Salt Lake City Veterans Affairs Hospital.

In 1990, she became the UofU’s first dermatology residency program director and was in that role for 20 years. An active member of the Association of Professors of Dermatology (APD), she served on the APD’s Board of Directors from 2008-2011 and as Secretary-Treasurer from 2017-2020. Some of the other professional organizations in which she has held leadership roles include American Academy of Dermatology, the Medical Dermatology Society, the National Association of VA Dermatologists, and the Dermatology Foundation. She also served on the ABD Board of Directors from 2008-2016.

From 1995-2014, she directed the development of the Utah Telehealth Network. The network has expanded from one site in 1995 to more than 50 sites now throughout Utah and surrounding states.

Her practice focuses on complex medical dermatology, with an interest in diseases that cause leg ulcers. She has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and five textbook chapters.

These experiences provide an invaluable foundation for her work leading the ABD’s candidate, program, and diplomate relations activities.

Born in Spokane, WA, Dr. Petersen grew up in White Bear Lake, MN. She earned her M.D. degree from the University of Utah in 1975. She did an Internal Medicine internship at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY, returning to the UofU to complete medicine residency.  She completed her dermatology residency at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she also was an assistant professor of dermatology.

The two things she loves most about dermatology, she says, is still seeing things in practice that she has never seen before, and helping residents become outstanding dermatologists.

Fun Facts about Dr. Petersen

She is a passionate dog lover. Her most-recent adoptee is Buddy, a mix of boxer, cattle dog, and dalmatian. Buddy has spoiled her during the pandemic quarantine by being her constant, well, buddy!

Petersen 1

Her daughter, Madeleine, shares her love of animals. Maddie and her partner, Zach, are creating a sanctuary for people and rescued animals on 80+ acres on Hawaii’s Big Island. 

Petersen 2

Dr. Petersen loves to travel with her daughter and with friends. Some favorite destinations have been Italy, Spain, Ireland (shown below), the Florida Keys, Vancouver, New York City, India, Turkey, and South Africa. Worst travel experience – having her passport stolen in Delhi. 

Petersen 3

She’s a news junkie, and a compulsive reader of fiction (mostly mysteries). She also loves word puzzles (crosswords, NYT Spelling Bee) and belongs to a Scrabble group, which she admits is more about food than Scrabble.