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September 16, 1961


Author Affiliations

Chicago, Ill.

JAMA. 1961;177(11):778. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040370040010

Dermatological disorders account for an estimated 10 to 15 per cent of everyday medical practice. Thus, practically all physicians are confronted with cutaneous problems which afflict their patients, often conspicuously torturing them or ruining their lives. Moreover, cutaneous changes properly detected and interpreted can frequently provide the key to puzzling medical diagnostic problems. It is also significant that 13.8 per cent of the queries in the Questions and Answers section of The Journal have dermatological implications.

In sharp contrast to this great need in medical practice for elementary knowledge of dermatology, the curricula of many medical schools even today so neglect cutaneous medical teaching that their graduates are prepared with little more than common lay misconceptions about the skin, its disorders, and the principles of their management or prevention.

Sulzberger,1 a number of years ago, elegantly catalogued, analyzed, and debunked the more common and damaging of the misconceptions about

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