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March 10, 1993

Advanced Dermatologic Diagnosis

Author Affiliations

Tulane University School of Medicine New Orleans, La

JAMA. 1993;269(10):1313. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500100113043

One night 20 years ago, when I was still trying to decide whether or not to study dermatology, I read a book entitled Consultations in Dermatology by Dr Walter Shelley. His writing and his breadth of knowledge made dermatology come alive for me. Reading his book was pivotal in my decision to choose a dermatology residency. Since then I have always been enthralled by the writings of Dr Shelley and more recently by his collaborations with his wife Dorinda. Their prose is a perfect blend of Arthur Conan Doyle and James Thurber. This is not the usual stuffy language of medical literature but a seductive dialogue, which draws the reader into the Shelleys' fascination with the intriguing world of dermatology.

Their newest book, Advanced Dermatologic Diagnosis, is their finest effort to date. It is difficult to believe that a 1300-page textbook is as hard to put down as a fine