American Mohs

Brett W. Will, David J. Elpern, Roy C. Grekin, Douglas W. JohnsonCorresponding author, BWW Abstract Over 80 years ago, a medical student conceived of a novel approach to remove difficult-to-treat nonmelanoma skin cancers.  The procedure, called Mohs Micrographic Surgery (MMS), has been refined over the ensuing years and now large numbers of practitioners provide the service.  As the indications have continued to evolve and enlarge, the appropriate use of MMS needs to be addressed.  We look at the history of MMS since its inception and present questions that clinical dermatologists are asking. Most importantly, is MMS overused and if it is, should precautions be taken to temper its overuse? Introduction … Continue reading

The Interpreting Moth

by Tanya Magana   The poem is written from the point of view of a medical student watching a patient undergo a skin biopsy. After the procedure, the student senses that the Spanish speaking patient is a bit confused about his disease and the procedure. She helps bridge the communication gap by translating. The patient walks away having a better understanding of his diagnosis, as well as no longer feeling embarrassed to ask questions. Slipping in quietly, I am the unwanted mothNestled in safely between the corner of two wallsTheir brown eyes dart at me to shoo me awayStay in your corner, stay out of everyone’s way The man’s hair … Continue reading

AMA Board — 2021

From CMS OpenPayments There are twenty American Medical Association Board members as of September, 2021. Their total reimbursement, as gleaned from the CMS OpenPayments site, is recorded in the Table below. Only one member, an orthopedist, received any significant monies from Industry. Many orthopedists have done research on devices and significant General and Research payments are received by orthopedists, neurosurgeons and some other specialties. It is likely that the AMA has made an effort to keep its board free of members with troubling COI.                        General        Research       Total                          2500 0 2500 SC C FP   450 0 450 CA A Derm   5200 0 5200 TX C … Continue reading

The world is on hold, my breath is on hold

by Dr P Ravi Shankar MBBS, MS, FAIMER Fellow * The world is on hold Towns once thronging with humansEmpty with the police maintaining the peaceMy steps resound noisily on the deserted sidewalksThe restaurants, cafes, and bars eerily empty My breath is on hold The virus has attacked my lungs I drown in my own fluids Each breath was a struggle, a gasp for air Talking to a fellow human’s a risk Always be mindful of the SOP Provide everyone their personal space Handshakes, high fives, physical contact Avoid, out of the question You sanitize everything in sight, left and right I am still in the ICU Tubes snake in … Continue reading

Dermatology in Space

Dermatology in Space by Sara Malik Keywords: lunula, solar keratosis, satellite lesions, eponyms, linguistics, dermatology Space exploration has allowed us to traverse the universe and to gain insight into gravity, fluid dynamics, the solar system, and the evolution of planets. However, let us not forget the role that space has played in shaping our language, particularly that in dermatology. Dermatology contains several space eponyms, such as lunula, satellite lesions, and solar keratosis. These space eponyms provide information about an anatomical description, relative location and size, and the etiology of skin conditions. A brief definition and history on these space eponyms in dermatology is provided below. Lunula The term lunula comes … Continue reading

Henna: Multifaceted 

Henna: Multifaceted   by Sara Malik* Keywords: henna, hair, culture, plants, South Asia, contact dermatitis, dermatology Henna is a dye that is prepared from the plant Lawsonia inermis that has been used for centuries to dye skin, hair, fingernails, and fabrics and can be found in hot climates. Henna has many useful properties as a cooling agent and anti-bacterial herb. The antimicrobial activity of henna is attributed to the free hydroxyls that can combine with carbohydrates and proteins in the bacterial cell wall; the hydroxyls may attach to and inactivate the enzyme sites of the microbes.1 The art of henna is a widespread cultural practice in countries in North Africa … Continue reading

Uncomfortable in Our Skin: Confronting Colorism in Dermatology

by Jason Gomez Jason Gomez is a third-year medical student at Stanford School of Medicine and an MBA candidate at Stanford Graduate School of Business pursuing a career in Dermatology. Email: The first patient I saw as a third-year medical student on my dermatology elective requested skin lightening cream. She “hated” her dark skin, particularly the areas where her melasma left hyperpigmented patches. She wasn’t alone. Throughout my rotation, I witnessed to black, hispanic, and south Asian patients investing in skin whiteness. But I never had a white patient ask me for a product that would darken their skin. Even if one of them had, I’m not sure what … Continue reading

A Tribute to Dr. Joe

by David Williams* (Written before the Covid crisis.) I have just learned that a friend and co-worker has entered end-stage heart failure. He is an aged cardio-thoracic surgeon who left the facility that I work in a week ago. His name is Dr. Joe M. I knew he was ill and knew that he had a cardiac condition but I did not know how advanced it was and is. He must have known. If you have the chops to do heart transplants (“its mostly plumbing…”) you know how badly off you are. Towards the end of his tenure with us, he arrived early one morning panting and breathing heavily. His … Continue reading

Carola Eisenberg: A Lucky Life

Carola Eisenberg, M.D. (1917 -2021) Dr. Eisenberg, a psychiatrist, was born with a social conscience. She was descended from Jewish socialist refugees from Czarist Russia and was a native of Argentina, where by her account she was inspired to pursue psychiatry after visiting a mental hospital as a teenager with her father. One of our colleagues, the Mohs miscographic surgeon Dr. Jenny Stone, has warm memories from her student days at Harvard of Carola Eisenberg: “In September 1978, I was a nervous first year student at Harvard Medical School.  In the midst of a flurry of faculty-introductory speeches, one person stood out: Dr. Carola Eisenberg, our new dean of student … Continue reading


    There is nowhere Black people can go to not be inside a carceral gaze or at risk of experiencing police brutality. …And we, in healthcare, have to [start] building that sanctuary for folks as their human right. Rhea Boyd In her recent New England Journal Perspective essay, “Without Sanctuary”1 S. Michelle Ogunwole suggests that our hospitals and offices should be sanctuaries for our patients.  She writes: In quiet moments, I often reflect on how our society decides who deserves punishment and who deserves redemption. I think about grace, and how Black people get so little. I think about trust, and how Black people get so little. I think about … Continue reading

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