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Cockerell Dermatopathology, Committed to Diagnostic Excellence

Brand McCarley | Cockerell Dermatopathology

Feb 18, 2022

Family, we treat every specimen as if it came from one of our own family members.

There is an epidemic of skin cancer in the United States and Texas has one of the highest rates of incidence.  Statistically one person dies each hour from skin cancer and melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. When your doctor, usually a dermatologist, suspects that a lesion might be skin cancer, they perform a minor surgical procedure to obtain a skin biopsy for diagnosis. It is very important that the skin biopsy diagnosis be accurate so that your doctor can formulate the best possible treatment plan. While most patients think a lab is just a lab, there can be a significant quality difference of the diagnostic abilities between laboratories.

Dermatopathologists are highly trained physicians who examine tissue specimens under a microscope, use the medical information shared by the doctor and consult with him or her as necessary. This personal service and collaboration between your doctor and dermatopathologists helps ensure the most accurate diagnosis. In today’s ever changing healthcare environment, patients now have more control over their healthcare choices. When it comes to diagnosing skin, hair and nail disorders, Clay J. Cockerell, MD has personally diagnosed over three million specimens and annually renders over 5,000 expert consultations for other pathologists. Dr. Cockerell and his team of dermatopathologists conduct daily case reviews, which allow multiple dermatopathologists to review difficult cases. Dr. Cockerell also sees patients and evaluates clinical pictures of skin disorders as do the dermatopathologists who work for him as they have training in both dermatology and pathology. Patients have a choice when it comes to who they want to evaluate their biopsy and they can request that it be sent to Cockerell Dermatopathology.


Dr. Clay J. Cockerell is a world-renowned specialist in treating and diagnosing skin disorders and has diagnosed over three million biopsies.

An internationally recognized pioneer in his field and double board-certified in dermatology and dermatopathology, Dr. Cockerell has been practicing medicine since 1986.  He is currently the Founder & President of Cockerell Dermatopathology and the Program Director of the Health Education Services dermatology residency program sponsored by the Lake Granbury Medical Center.  Also, Dr. Cockerell sees patients a few days per month to assist with resident training and to keep his clinicopathological skills sharp.

Dr. Cockerell has held numerous leadership positions within several highly regarded medical associations.  Most notably, he served as the President, Secretary & Treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Dermatology, President of the Texas Dermatological Society, and President of the Dallas Dermatological Society.  Also, Dr. Cockerell holds leadership roles as Founder and President of Cockerell Dermatopathology and a former AmeriPath Board of Directors member.

Dr. Cockerell and his wife, Brenda, had a lifelong dream of producing wine and, in 2005, purchased a vineyard in Calistoga, California.  They now produce wine under the Coquerel Family Wine Estates label.  Dr. Cockerel and Brenda have two children, Charles and Lillian, and they have been married for forty-six years.  In addition, Dr. Cockerell and Brenda enjoy traveling, golf, and winter sports.


The Cockerell Dermatopathology story begins with Dr. Clay J. Cockerell's vision to establish a practice whose mission is to treat each specimen as if it came from one of own family members. Family! At Cockerell Dermatopathology, every employee is driven by a relentless pursuit of diagnostic excellence. We specialize in evaluating dermatologic disorders, tackling cases ranging from the routine to the most challenging.

Our practice continuously invests in cutting-edge technologies to best serve each referring clinician and their patients. These innovations result in higher-quality diagnostic slides, quicker turnaround times for routine cases, and seamless deployment of EMR interfaces.

From an educational perspective, Cockerell Dermatopathology is more than a dermatopathology practice. We host numerous in-person and internet-based education events and boast a state-of-the-art 14-headed microscope for dermatology resident training sessions.

Our services extend beyond borders, serving hundreds of clinicians in Texas, throughout the United States, and globally. With a highly accessible team of board-certified dermatopathologists and a dedicated support staff, our vision is simple yet profound. Family, we treat every specimen as if it were from one of our own family members.

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