The Great God Fred

Once in a generation or so,  there appears in our specialty, a charismatic individual whose creativity and intellect advance our knowledge and understanding in ways that were unanticipated. Dr. Frederic Sheldon Brandt was featured recently in a New York Times Style essay: The Man Behind the Face. His specialty is facial rejuvenation, and, if one believes the article, he and … Continue reading


Keywords: pharmceutical prices, drug prices, generics, savings A funny thing happened on the way to the pharmacy… I was robbed. It’s a strange reality in these United States, that the price of a pharmaceutical varies wildly from one drugstore to another. Patients on Medicaid and, or, those with insurance drug coverage usually do pretty well, but individuals who do not … Continue reading

Shelley’s “Prayer of the Orphan Patient to the Doctor”

Listen to me Don’t be cynical, indifferent, or in a hurry. Ask me what makes my problem better or worse. Ask me what I think the cause is. Ask me to look for clues and teach me what they are. Think about me Think of my problem when you read those books, journals, and atlases. Think of my problem when … Continue reading

Lessons from the Clinic

Yoon Cohen recently sent us an invaluable handout presented by Dr. William James at a meeting she attended.  She wrote: “As an osteopathic resident, I attend our annual American Osteopathic College of Dermatology Conference every Fall. One of the highlights of the conference each year is a series of lectures from the Department of Dermatology at University of Pennsylvania. This … Continue reading

Skin Microbiome .Net

We may not see them, but we need them. An estimated one hundred trillion microorganisms inhabit the human body.  This includes bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa and mites.  There are gut, skin, respiratory, bone and even nervous system microbiomes – and this may be an incomplete list.  We are only beginning to understand how these microbial communities impact health and disease. … Continue reading

Transmission of Scabies

Keywords: scabies, transmission, Mellanby, fomites, beds In the early 1940s, scabies was an important cause of morbidity in the troops.  Kenneth Mellanby did important, but ethically questionable, experiments on conscientious objectors to determine how scabies spreads.  Interestingly, fomites do not seems to be a serious risk for transmission.  I’ve attached a link to Mellenby’s report in the British Medical Journal … Continue reading

Healing from the Inside Out

MY SKIN has always been my weakest organ—hives, rashes, welts, acne, and itchy skin in reaction to foods, animal dander, chemicals, bug bites, and toxic fumes. So when I noticed patches of dry, rough, red skin on my lower torso in my early 50s, I accepted them as yet another sign of being oily above the neck and dry below. … Continue reading

The Art and the Calling Reincarnated

In 1991, I was asked to edit a section for the Archives of Dermatology on “social and political” issues in dermatology. This became a column called “The Art and the Calling” that addressed the medical humanities. It was short-lived since the editors were not particularly interested in the humanities.  They preferred addressing the politics of medicine. “The Art and the … Continue reading

The Beautiful Place

In 2002, we had a section in the Archives of Dermatology called “The Art and the Calling.”  This was a reference to Osler’s bon mot, “The practice of medicine is an art, not a trade’ a calling not a business.” One of the most memorable pieces was Megan Moore’s essay about Camp Discovery.  We present it here for your edification. … Continue reading

Going to See Jack

The following piece was published in the Archives of Dermatology in 2002.  (I was the editor of a section then on the art of medicine and this is one of the pieces I was most proud of.  I’ll resurrect a few others for the Online J by and by.  DJE) Going to See Jack Disaffected doctors are now, I have … Continue reading

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