Dr. Richard Fitzpatrick, affectionately known as Fitz, was born July 21, 1944, in Atlanta, Georgia. He passed away July 12, 2014, at his home in Rancho Santa Fe surrounded by his family following a ten year battle with prostate cancer.|
Fitz was an internationally recognized Dermatologist and Laser Surgeon. His historic discovery of skin resurfacing with lasers is considered to be among the leading advances in Dermatology. He was the founder of SkinMedica, one of the premier cosmeceutical skin care lines in the country.
Fitz's second greatest love, after his family, was his long and varied career in dermatology, which included 36 years of private medical and surgical practice in San Diego. After graduating from Princeton University in 1966, Fitz studied medicine at Emory University, achieving membership in Alpha Omega Alpha, and completed an internship in general medicine at the University of Southern California. He entered the Navy, serving as a general medical officer achieving the rank of Commander from 1971-1974, and completed his residency in Dermatology at UCLA in 1978. He then moved to San Diego and opened Dermatology Associates in La Jolla and Encinitas. Fitz had a laser in his hand until the very end, working at Goldman, Butterwick, Fitzpatrick, Groff & Fabi.
In addition to treating tens of thousands of patients, Fitz conducted 130 medical research projects and published over 130 medical papers, 3 medical textbooks and nearly 60 textbook chapters. He influenced the lives of countless physicians and changed the face of cosmetic dermatology forever.
His accomplishments and his contributions to the world of dermatology were enhanced by his genuine love of life. He was an eternal optimist who will be missed by all who knew and loved him. Above all else, Fitz loved and adored his family, including his wife, Betsy; four daughters and a son, Palmer Fitzpatrick, Elizabeth (Craig) Calders, Ted Fitzpatrick, Maggi Fitzpatrick (Taylor McLemore), and Caitlin Fitzpatrick; and four grandchildren, Kasey, Kate, Topher and Griffin.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, July 18, 2014, at 1pm at the Village Church, Rancho Santa Fe. All are welcome.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: The Jewish Collaborative of San Diego, PO Box 131436, Carlsbad, CA 92013, www.jcosd.com; or The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, www.aslms.org, the main page has information on how to donate to the Richard E. Fitzpatrick, MD, Clinical Research and Innovations Memorial Award. If you have any questions about donations, please contact Betsy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in the Rancho Santa Fe Review on July 24, 2014