Meet the Steiner Ranch dermatologist: Melody Vander Straten

Dr. Melody Vander Straten to see patients full time at ADC Steiner Ranch

Melody Vander Straten

Melody Vander Straten, MD

When ADC’s new Steiner Ranch clinic opens in December, patients will be able to schedule appointments with a new dermatologist — Dr. Melody Vander Straten.

Background and training

Dr. Vander Straten was born in Los Angeles, but she says she got to Texas as soon as she could.

She grew up in Houston, and earned her undergraduate degree from Trinity University in San Antonio before going to medical school at Texas A&M.

After graduating medical school, she entered the Navy.

“I did a Family Practice internship at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, FL, and then spent four years as a general medical officer, which consisted of general and urgent care for active duty members, their families, and those retired from the Navy, both in shore clinics and on ships,” Dr. Vander Straten said. “I also completed a tour on both the USS Spruance and the USS John Hancock, during which I was the only physician for the 9 ship group which supported the carrier USS John F. Kennedy.”

After serving her time in the Navy, she spent three years doing clinical research on vaccines and therapies for conditions including atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and HIV. She completed a residency in dermatology in Ohio before heading home to Texas and settling in Austin.

What do you love about your job?

Dr. Vander Straten says dermatology is exciting because it is at the cutting edge of research in many areas. New treatments and medications also can help change the quality of life for her patients.

“I also have the privilege of saving lives,” she said. “While it may not be as dramatic as a trauma center, detecting and excising someone’s melanoma can be a life-saving event.”

Dr. Vander Straten practices general dermatology, so she treats and manages conditions from acne to psoriasis and skin cancer.

“My aim is to perform the best medical care I possibly can while maintaining patient comfort and safety.  While I also perform some minor cosmetic procedures, such as Botox, my ultimate goal is to help the patient to understand and achieve the best level of health and wellness possible.  Prevention is an important part of my medical practice,” she said.

What are you looking forward to most?

Dr. Vander Straten says she is excited about joining a multi-specialty clinic, because it will help her understand a patient’s condition from multiple perspectives, allowing for unique and innovative approaches to treatment.

“I am looking forward to meeting new providers and interacting with them on a daily basis in a collaborative approach to patient care, and to having the support staff that will enable me to take the best possible care of my patients,” she said.