The Church Spire Sign in Dermatopathology

Raagini Suresh, B.S. Keywords: church spire sign, dermatology, dermatopathology, pathology, biopsy Abstract: Dermatopathologists often use key phrases to describe histopathological findings. This piece takes a look at the origin of the phrase “church spire sign,” and explains the symbolic meaning behind the addition of spires to church buildings. Dermatology is an extremely visual field. While the physical exam is often a key component of establishing a diagnosis, histopathology can be used to provide a microscopic look at clinical findings. Most dermatologists are well versed in performing biopsies to better characterize their patients’ skin lesions, often sending biopsy specimens to dermatopathologists for interpretation. The language dermatopathologists use in their reports includes … Continue reading

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Spirituality in Dermatology

by Jorge Ramon and David J. Elpern This article was published in the July 2017 Archives of Dermatology Excerpts: Spirituality is difficult to define, but a recent consensus conference defined it as the aspect of humanity that refers to the way individuals seek and express meaning and purpose. Spirituality is understood by many as a means by which one copes with chronic or life threatening illnesses. While some people may not believe in a specific faith, many are interested in spirituality. Coming to grips with each individual patient’s spirituality requires a broad understanding of the person’s beliefs and values. Christina Puchalski’s FICA Spirituality History Tool1 can be a guide to … Continue reading

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Dermatologists on Display

Dermatologists on Television: As the Public Sees Us By: Ajay Kailas Email: ajay.kailas@knights.ucf.edu 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

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It’s Freezing in our County: Medicare Reimbursement in 2012

by David J. Elpern and Mariah L. Ferrara Abstract: We have documented the access to dermatology care in the Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Of the six dermatologists practicing in the area only two accept Medicaid patients and for one of these, the wait for an appointment was over six months. Our data show unequal access to dermatologic care in Western Massachusetts Keywords:  dermatology, access to care, Medicaid, dermatologist, medical insurance. Berkshires, Massachusetts, cryotherapy, liquid nitrogen Introduction: It is clear to Medicaid recipients nationwide that they have difficulty in obtaining health care from large numbers of private practitioners There are many reasons for this, but chief among them is that physicians are … Continue reading

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What’s in a name? That which we call a rose.

rose-moles all in stipple on trout that swim… G.M. Hopkins, Pied Beauty By Jorge Roman B.S. The vast array of plant life that inhabit this earth has proven to be a great muse for humanity. People have used the ample pool of imagery provided by plants to create gorgeous works of art and what is dermatology if not a visual art? The countless colors, textures, shapes, and sizes displayed by plants have been used by dermatologists as a source of inspiration for describing the skin and its pathology. Arborization is a ubiquitous term used to describe everything from the vessels of a basal cell carcinoma to the dendrites of melanocytes. … Continue reading

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Coleman Jacobson: An Untold Story about Another Shot Heard Round The World

Yusuf Anwar, Michelle Xu and Daniel Mark Siegel MD, MS (Management and Policy) Mr. Anwar and Ms. Xu are fourth year medical students at the SUNY Downstate College of Medicine in Brooklyn, NY. Dr. Siegel is a Clinical Professor of Dermatology. Coleman Jacobson: An Untold Story about Another Shot Heard Round The World Abstract Coleman Jacobson MD, a larger than life figure in twentieth century dermatology, played a role in one of the most memorable and tragic periods in world history. While details have been accessible on the web for over a decade, new findings regarding the Warren Commission are now finally being presented to the dermatology community from Dr. … Continue reading

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The French Connection

For S, to whom this article is dedicated by Valencia Long, MBBS Dermatology is graced by many French terms that resonate in everyday practice.  Here are some examples, presented as a tribute to the great French teachers and pioneers of dermatology.  May this note also serve as an expression of solidarity with the people of France in the aftermath of the recent terrorist attack in Paris, November 13, 2015. The term ‘plaque’ is an elevated, circumscribed lesion used to describe conditions such as  psoriasis and sarcoidosis. It is also used in “parapsoriasis en plaque”, which may be considered related to patch stage mycosis fungoides. “Collarette” means small French collar and … Continue reading

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Expressions of Emotion in Dermatology

by Valencia Long, MBBS and Leonard J. Hoenig, M.D. The whole gamut of human emotion has found its way into the dermatologic lexicon. A rash looks “angry” when it is inflamed. Other times, a dermatitis that oozes and exudes fluid is described as “weeping. Cosmetic dermatology often deals with “frown lines” that are furrows that form over one’s brow as the skin ages and which remind us of scowling, a facial expression of displeasure. “Laugh lines”, also called “smile lines”, occur along the nasolabial folds and with aging can grow in length and depth. Perhaps the most common emotion that is expressed in dermatology concerns love. Pain, and the most … Continue reading

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Skin Wars

by Mr. B. In 2014, I won an insidious lottery: contracting Pityriasis Rubra Pilaris (PRP), a rare skin disease that one in 400,000 people get. After accepting this horrific verdict, I discovered I had a major choice. Do I take high-risk drugs in hope for a cure, after assuming a drug had initially caused my PRP? During the challenge of being alone in my struggle, I fortuitously discovered a special dermatologist. Dr. K respected my concerns about a conventional physician-patient relationship, and he followed my lead in selecting my treatment. The communication and trust we developed led to a slow, minimal treatment that after one year resulted in remission without … Continue reading

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The Dao of the Red Man

by Dr. K. In September of 2014, I saw Mr. B., a 68 years old man, with a wide-spread dermatitis that turned out to be pityriasis rubra pilaris (PRP).  He was miserable with generalized red skin, scaling and painfully thickened palms and soles.  My essay, “The Dao of the Red Man” describes our long and complicated therapeutic journey.  Mr. B. relates his personal PRP struggle  in “Skin Wars.”  The interested reader will learn much from reading and comparing  both Mr. B. and my narratives.  They speak to PRP, the physician-patient dyad, and shared-decision making. The Dao of the Red Man Skin Wars – Mr. B Also see: Skin Wars by … Continue reading

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