Cry the Beloved Specialty

by A.R. Pito, FRCP(C) In the Entrepreneurship section of a recent NY Times there was an article with the title “Fat Freezing Helps Doctors Enhance Physiques, and Their Revenue.” Here are some excerpts: “Dermatology clinics and medical spas are increasingly offering a procedure called CoolSculpting to shrink love handles, flabby tummies and jiggly arms. Doctors’ offices are eager to offer the treatment because it represents a way to meet the fast-growing demand for fat-reduction services that don’t require surgery. It is also, they say, a way to get new types of customers in the door, including men.” “The spokeswoman for one dermatology spa in Arkansas was quoted as saying that … Continue reading

Isotretinoin on a Global Scale

In the end, we are dependent on creatures we have made. Goethe  Isotretinoin and iPledge  on the Global Stage by Ava Atri, B.A. and David J. Elpern, M.D. Keywords: isotretinoin, regulation, iPledge program, teratogen Introduction Isotretinoin has revolutionized the treatment of acne since it was approved by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration in 1982. Because it is teratogenic, some countries rigorously regulate its prescriptions.  In the United States, prescribers and patients must comply with the iPledge Program in order to write or fill isotretinoin prescriptions.1  A chance discussion with a colleague from Iran, where isotretinoin can now be purchased without a prescription, led us to survey a number of other … Continue reading

Dermatologists on Display

Dermatologists on Television: As the Public Sees Us By: Ajay Kailas Email: University of Central Florida College of Medicine Keywords: dermatology, dermatologists, television, Seinfeld, Grey’s Anatomy, Television is an important medium of communication that allows millions to access unique viewpoints. How certain people or professions are portrayed can influence how the general public thinks about them. There are countless dermatologists in the world, who all have varied personalities, appearances, and practice styles. This begs the question, how are dermatologists portrayed on television? Grey’s Anatomy is a medical drama that centers around the lives of several competitive surgical residents at Seattle Grace Hospital. During an intensive day, one of the … Continue reading

Dermatology Mondays: On a Global Scale

“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” ― Mark Twain  Dermatology Mondays: On a Global Scale Omid Zargari, M.D.1, David J. Elpern, M.D.2, Gregor Jemec, M.D.3 Dana Clinic, Rasht, Iran, E-mail: The Skin Clinic, Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA Roskilde Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark Key Words: Epidemiology, skin cancer, psoriasis, acne Funding source: None That’s when I first learned that it wasn’t enough to just do your job, you had to have an interest in it, even a passion for it. ― Charles Bukowski Each Monday, as physicians, we start our “work week.” If one happens to live in Iran, … Continue reading

Notes from Cushing’s Life of Osler

Some years ago, a friend gave me a copy of Harvey Cushing’s The Life of Sir William Osler. He knew I admired Osler but had read little of his work. My colleague had sought the tome out in a used bookstore, for it has been out of print for many years. Somewhat reluctantly, because of its forbidding length, I waded into the volume and was swept away by the elegance of both Cushing and Osler’s writings. You may be interested in perusing the For the document, go to From Cushing’s Osler

Goodbye Jag

Goodbye Jag: What a case-report will not tell. by Cornelis Kennedy Case reports (CRs) are considered an important tool in conveying information about unusual clinical cases. They serve an important purpose in sharing knowledge with colleagues about often unexpected outcomes. These clinical events are then chronologically presented, analyzed and at the end a conclusion is discussed. Often more is needed. Sometimes the information that is not presented in the CR provides insights that may have a bigger impact on us than the pure clinical data. Sometimes more needs to be said. Sometimes we find ourselves crying. It was late on a Wednesday morning when the resident called. My patient, Jag, … Continue reading

​​​​​A Sense of Melancholy

by Rosanne Trost At times in my life, I have had a vague feeling of being vulnerable and lonely. It comes and goes. I can best describe it as a sense of unrest. Fortunately, the episodes are infrequent, usually brief. Still I wonder what they mean, if anything. Is there a message I am missing? In my childhood, when these uneasy feelings would occur, I never shared them. I do not know why. Probably because I would have been misunderstood. The pensive thoughts would not have been validated. As a little girl I remember feeling guilty for these sad times. I should be more grateful. During my junior year in … Continue reading

Medications vs. Substances

by Steven Sobel, M.D.* Taking a medication generally connotes a positive means of maintaining one’s health. Using a substance, on the other hand, is a pejorative term, implying reliance on chemicals as a means of escape. Yet the boundary between substance and medication defies facile demarcation.  Our labels can be arbitrary and even hypocritical.  One person’s medication is another person’s substance.  A chemical used as a substance in one situation is considered a medication when used somewhat differently. The distinction shifts along with cultural norms and the passage of time. We might reach a consensus that penicillin is a magic bullet medication, a specific, effective antidote to an identified pathogen … Continue reading

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