Reducing Health Disparities in Dermatology: The Free Clinic as a Model and What We Can Do

By Christine P. Lin* *Keywords: Free clinic, Health disparities, People of color, Skin cancer *The author has no conflicts of interest to report   Nestled at the intersection of 34th Street and Boston Avenue, The Free Clinic at Lubbock Impact has diligently served over 5,300 uninsured patients in the past 10 years. Every Wednesday evening from 6 to 9 PM, our clinic offers free primary care services to the uninsured Lubbock and West Texas population ages 19 to 64 years old. Specialty nights such as Dermatology, Ophthalmology, and Physical Therapy are also held every month. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC)-affiliated volunteer physicians, residents, medical students, nurses, pharmacists, social … Continue reading

Coconut Oil’s “Miraculous” Effects On Skin

By Adam Vo* Keywords: coconut oil, skin disease, personal experience, doctor-patient communication, eczema, moisturizer, skin care, dermatologist, skin, natural, doctor’s apostolic function Abstract This is a personal vignette of a student’s unusual encounter involving coconut oil, while shadowing the local dermatologist in Southern California. The narrator juxtaposes his childhood experiences as a dermatology patient with his adolescent experiences as a medical shadow. On a journey to discover the role of coconut oil in dermatological practice, the student learns about the various benefits of coconut oil, ranging from treatment for an array of skin disorders to a daily moisturizer. After an extensive literature review, the narrator’s appreciation for coconut oil increases, … Continue reading

Marketing Pharmaceutical Science for Prestige and Profit

Marketing Pharmaceutical Science for Prestige and Profit PREPRINT By David J Elpern, M.D. As a dermatologist, I have observed the profusion of research articles on psoriasis over the past two decades.  A graph of these from PubMed illustrates the five-fold increase in references since the first biologic, infliximab, was approved by the FDA in 1998. (Figure 1) This increase in scientific studies has coincided with a profusion of new therapies for psoriasis and may reflect the pharmaceutical industry’s interest in developing and promoting costly new treatments for this common chronic skin disorder.  With this in mind, a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine, “Trial of Roflumilast Cream … Continue reading

Every Specimen is a Person

*Keywords: Dermatopathology, skin specimens, physician burnout, emotional intelligence, detachment, empathy. *The author has no conflicts of interest to report. Preparing Dermatopathology Specimens in Proper Context by Travis Dowdle* As a specimen grosser, I am frequently greeted by samples like this one. Abnormal, soaked in formalin, and disconnected. Without the labeling on the jar there would be no way to ascertain the origin of this tissue. The face and story of this person it was taken from are unknown to me. “Every piece is a person,” Dr. Michelle Tarbox, associate professor of dermatology at Texas Tech University Health Science Center mentioned before going on to explain other important elements of the … Continue reading

SpringFest at PGI

by Ravi Shankar I struggled to keep my eyes open, my head straight and my attention focused on the task at hand. It was past two in the morning. I was fighting a losing battle at my friend’s apartment. The strong cups of coffee were not working. We were bringing out the next day’s edition of ‘Bullsheet’, the graffiti-style newsletter which was a PGI tradition during the institute arts festival. Taking on this added responsibility was tough but I enjoyed the creative freedom and the opportunity to look at the festival through a comical, non-serious eye. Most past literary and cultural secretaries had outsourced the task to others. We wrote … Continue reading

A Monument in Hiroshima

     Ali Mahmoud1, BS, Shahzeb Hassan1, BA, Taha Osman Mohammed1, BS Leonard Hoenig2, MD Affiliations: 1. Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois 2. Private Practice, Pembroke Pines, Florida Corresponding Author: Leonard J. Hoenig, MD Conflicts of Interest Statement:  There are NO conflicts of interest. Key Words:  Hiroshima, Sankichi Toge, poetry ABSTRACT “A Monument in Hiroshima,” Japan (Figure) is dedicated to Sankichi Toge (1917-1953) a survivor of the atomic bomb blasts which occurred 75 years ago.  Toge was a poet who became the voice of the atomic bomb survivors.  This article presents highlights from Toge’s poetry that capture his vision of peace and a world free of nuclear … Continue reading

Coffee, Cutlets and the Culture of Healing

Dr. P. Ravi Shankar* Key words: India, Internship, Kerala, medical college, medical students, coffee I was disoriented in time, place and person. Events were unfolding at a rapid pace. The meeting with the Principal, the completion of admission formalities, the medical checkup in the classroom, and the allotment of rooms in the hostel. We had come back to the main square of the medical college. My father and his uncle were there with me. We decided to go to the college canteen which at that time was run by the Indian Coffee House. It was my first introduction to the venerable institution. The college canteen was a circular structure with … Continue reading

Lives Now Gone: A Nursing Home Diary

Strange is our situation here on earth. Each of us comes for a short time, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that we are here for the sake of others. Albert Einstein Lives Now Gone: A Nursing Home Diary by Dr. Robert Norman Over the last 25 years I have treated patients at dozens of nursing homes throughout Florida and taken down notes and kept a diary. Over the last few months, the urgency of my diary has been heightened due to the rampage of Covid 19. I have talked to many … Continue reading

She Did Not Know

Lymphoma could live in his skin like a creature crawling in sacred places, she thought it should be forbidden she searches online “types of lymphoma” pictures appear resembling dark mountains she asks him each morning how are you? he keeps saying he is “fine.” she’s awake until 4 am— she comes up with a plan 1. how to nurse him back to health, 2. how to save his skin. Bio: Palmer Smith is a current MFA student at Columbia University and an MA student at Middlebury College in Vermont. Her writing has been featured in Harness Magazine, Literary Yard and Thought Catalog. As a Scottish girl,  she wears 55 SPF. … Continue reading

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