Whether it’s discussing skin health with patients or informing the San Juan Capistrano community about overall medical facts, Dr. Michelle Hure is well-known in the area as a medical resource.
Hure won the Golden Horseshoe for Best Medical Health Care Provider in our 16th annual Best of San Juan Capistrano People’s Choice awards—a contest she has been recognized in a total of six times since 2017.
The double board-certified physician is humbled by the recognition and aims to be a sensible expert who patients can talk to and trust.
“All of the awards I’ve ever gotten, I’m very humble and I appreciate them all,” Hure says. “I don’t think I can rest on my laurels. I’m always trying to do better and be the best doctor I can be.”
MemorialCare Medical Group Urgent Care won the Silver Horseshoe, a distinction it was honored to receive.
“We’re grateful to the community of San Juan Capistrano and take pride in the exceptional, compassionate care that our clinicians and employees have provided over the years,” says MemorialCare’s CEO Mark Schafer, MD. “We look forward to continuing to serve the wonderful community of San Juan Capistrano for many years to come.”
We recently sat down with Hure for a Q&A to also hear about her gratitude and continuing service.
The Capistrano Dispatch: Tell me about OC Skinlab and what you do here.
Hure: OC Skinlab was my vision of being kind of the everything for the community. I am dermatology, pathology, dermapathology, and I loved the idea of being in a community as one of the pillars—the doctor people go to, to ask questions, to bounce things off. I feel like I’ve kind of become that person, especially with COVID, with everything that went on—Coffee Chat, giving my opinion. If city councilmembers had questions, they’d come to me. I felt like that sort of desire was satisfied, and I love the fact that I feel like a part of the community.
I always felt there was a lack of down-to-earth dermatology providers that are not just cosmetic in nature, that look at the whole person and go on a different angle, which is healthy, holistic sort of care. There aren’t many places like that in Orange County. It’s Botox and filler. That’s just not me. I think my patients appreciate that. It’s pretty obvious that’s not how our practice is.
CD: What’s your reaction to, again, this award?
Hure: I think, since we opened, we got an award. The very first year we opened, we got best new business. Every year has been multiple awards, and I’ve never taken it for granted. I appreciate every single award I’ve ever gotten.
At least it’s some validation, I guess, I’m doing the right thing. People recognize it, and they want to give me an award, that’s great. It’s not like that defines me or motivates me.
CD: What does helping out patients mean for you and what do dermatology services mean for the community?
Hure: I really feel that my goal every day and my job is education. So many people come through the door every day with questions and myths and things they hear and see online which are totally false. It’s a lot of misinformation.
It’s not just about dermatology. People come to me with other questions about their medical problems, whether it’s their general practice or whatever’s going on in their life.
Dermatology reflects a lot of different organ systems. Many times, I make diagnoses off of skin lesions that people never realize they had—say, prostate cancer or gout or whatever. Brand new diagnoses people never knew they had.
You can see it in the skin. It’s a reflection of what’s going on inside. I was also an internal medicine doctor, so I know a lot of the stuff.
People talk to me. I spend a lot of time with my patients. That’s really what separates me from a lot of other practices. We sit and talk. How is your health? What’s going on? What are your new meds? Tell me about new things going on. Oh, you were in the hospital? What happened?
That’s how I feel I am taking care of people the best I can, not just looking at their skin and sending them out the door.
CD: You spoke about being the community doctor during COVID. Talk to me about that and the importance that role served.
Hure: Exactly like how I do every day, dispelling myths and misinformation and disinformation. My experience in medicine made me the best person to dispel myths we were hearing or reading about or people were actively trying to misinform us about.
I wanted to be that voice of reason. I was also a general pathologist. I worked on the swine flu when it first came out, H1-N1.
It was very similar to changes we were seeing in the lungs for COVID. I felt like my background—I was a virologist and immunologist as a grad student at UC Davis and then going off for pathology and dermatology—(and) my passion is to break the myth and give the information.
I felt like that was not happening in the media, with other doctors. Certainly, in the community, there were a lot of misconceptions. I was, like, this is my role here. This is what I’m going to do. I’m going to help out and answer the best I can.
CD: Anything else to say or add?
Hure: I love what I do. I love San Juan. I came from a small town in the Central Valley, a small farming community, and when I came to San Juan, it really reminded me of home. I’ve always felt like I was at home here, and I still do. Winning these awards, I guess people appreciate me and what I do. That’s important to me.