Dr. Ricardo Bullen – New Dermatology Clinic in David – May 16

UPDATED May 6: Office information at end of post.
It is a pleasure for me to announce a new dermatology clinic that will be opening in David.

I recently received an email from Dr. Ricardo Bullen, who notified me that he will be opening a Dermatology Clinic In Hospital Chiriquí in Office #1 on the main floor.

He said they are currently in the process of getting furniture and setting up the office. His intent is to be open in March.

His main clinics are in Panama City in Paitilla and San Fernando from Monday through Friday.

The new David Office will have office hours on Saturdays from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM.

Following are Dr. Bullen’s current websites:


Following are Dr. Bullen’s Credentials:

Board Certified Dermatologist

Sub specialty skin cancer surgery  Mohs surgery

Dermatology training – USA and Canada – McGill University and Boston University,  clinical dermatology – University of Wisconsin and University of Texas,  skin oncology, skin cancer surgery Mohs surgery and reconstruction.

George Washington University – Director of the department of dermatologic , surgery ,Mohs surgery and reconstruction 2008-2011

Medical Lic. Panama, California, Massachusetts, and District of Columbia.

Now on a personal note, I have been wanting to write up Dr. Bullen’s practice for some time.

Several years ago, Lilliam was diagnosed with skin cancer on the left side of her face. She underwent surgery, in David, and a small section on her face was removed by another doctor. We were told that everything was fine.

About two years later (2012), it was apparent that all of the cancer had not been removed and it had returned. A thorough search for a competent cancer doctor in Panama City revealed Dr. Bullen’s name.

Lilliam went to Panama City and saw Dr. Bullen. He gave Lilliam a 100% (from head to toe) evaluation and inspection confirming that the cancer on her face had not been sufficiently removed and further that she had no other areas to be concerned with. If I remember right that office visit was $40.

She was then scheduled for surgery. Her daughter took a few photos and sent them to me during the surgery. It is probably just as well that I was not there, as I have been known to pass out in the presence of such things.

While the first surgery in David had removed an area about 1/4 inch of diameter, this surgery was much more invasive.

pending biopsyJPGThe photo on the left was taken by by Lilliam’s daughter while they were waiting for the biopsy to be completed.

To get to this point, Dr. Bullen had remove the the cancer and scraped the underlying tissue to remove all cancer cells. Lilliam described it as an unpleasant experience. The biopsy confirmed that there were still more cancer cells to be removed and a larger area was removed.


The following photos were after the surgery was complete and the incision was closed.


The following photo was take on the first visit to check the progress. You can see that there was still swelling and the left lip still showed the effects of the surgery.

first checkup

There were a few more visits and minor cosmetic procedures in his office. Lilliam had to massage the inside of her cheek every night to speed up the recovery of the nerves and as therapy for the lip.

Lilliam has maintained semi-annual checkups to insure no future problems.

Anyone that has seen Lilliam now, and didn’t know she had surgery, would think nothing had ever been wrong with her.

I pass this information on for multiple reasons.

Many move to Panama and don’t realize that the sun is something that you need to take precautions with. It is now known that all that time trying to get tans, when we were young, was not a smart thing. The UV rays in Panama are extremely strong and Lilliam was told that much of her problem was caused by sun exposure in her youth. She and I are both sunscreen advocates.

Second, it is wise to see a good dermatologist at the first sign that there may be a sun related skin problem. The sooner a problem is diagnosed, the better.

Third is to say that David will now be fortunate to have a resource that previously was only available in Panama City. I am very thankful that Lilliam went to Dr. Bullen.

UPDATED MAY 2, 2015:

I just received a notification that the office will open beginning May 16th at 9:30 AM. I will try to go by on the 16th and take a photo and give a good location. I know it is on the first floor.

Numbers to call for reservations are 223 9697, 215 2106, 213 1907. David – 777 8076 direct , 774-0128 ext 2185
Mobil 6982 2188 (English)

17 thoughts on “Dr. Ricardo Bullen – New Dermatology Clinic in David – May 16

  1. This is great to hear. Please do send another message when he has a working office and phones. Current Dermatologists around David haven’t impressed us and we have tried several.

  2. Nice to know, Don, since I’ve had two skin cancers removed. Hey, is there a really good vet in David? I think there are lots of dog dangers that we are not familiar with…like the toads. We have a lot in Las Lajas and will build as soon as we sell our cabin in Idaho. Kim Batt-Lincoln

  3. Please let us know when Dr. Bullen set up his office and is taking appointments. He is exactly what we need here–a doctor who gives thorough body checks rather leaving it up to the patient to see if we have anything that needs to be checked!! Welcome to Chiriquí, Dr. Bullen; you are going to be very busy!!

  4. Is he Panamanian? I believe the law indicates you have to be Panamanian to get a license to practice medicine in Panama. Just wondering. Jaime

  5. I have some excellent experiences with doctor Bullen and agree fully on Don’s report. Doctor Bullen treated me in Paitilla and showed good knowledge. The best is that he took the time for inspection and treatment. But donot be shocked when you get the bill, it is not as cheap by far as i read in this blog. I am from Europe, i think that same treatment in Europe would certainly not be more expensive than here. I am only one year in Panama now, and reading old postings, i have the idea that prices are really booming here recently. I hope i am wrong, to avoid bad surprises.

  6. Marc– You need to check around and by all means find out what charges are. I have seen a doctor who is A GP in David, Dr Comargo. His charge for an office call is $4.00. I saw an ENT in Chiriqui Hospital. His charge was $55.00 For looking at my ear, that was infected and writing two prescriptions. One was for pain meds that I had paid $22.00 for in the National Hospital written by Dr Comargo. In Chiriqui Hospital it was $156.00 for 25% more. I would be interested in the type of cancer that Lilliam had .The worst is Melanoma, which eventually becomes fatal. As for the sun in Panama, my sister had surgery for a non-melanoma skin cancer. She has lived all her life in Minnesota and never went to a beach or a tanning parlor. She has a much darker skin color than I do. I was in the sun all day herding cows when I was a child. I spent four years in Phoenix and I’ve spent going on five in Panama. If you want to use a sunscreen, find one that doesn’t contain PABA.

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