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Special Millennium Article
January 2000

As Dermatology in the United States Enters the Millennium

Arch Dermatol. 2000;136(1):62-64. doi:10.1001/archderm.136.1.62

Can there be a soul so jaded for whom entering a new millennium will not evoke memories of halcyon moments gone and lofty aspirations for a long and favored future? But, as George Santayana warned, one who ignores the past will repeat its mistakes.

In the 4 decades since I discovered dermatology, there has been immeasurable change in the perception of the specialty, initiated perhaps by the realization that the skin is a showcase for observing metabolism at the cellular and molecular level. The choreographic response of the pigment cells of the frog to light or to hormones was a graphic display of the quality and promise of dermatological research—and that was just the beginning! There was also the realization that dermatology was a discipline that was largely ignored and therefore poorly learned by internists and generalists; this stemmed perhaps from the lack of full-time dermatologists at Yale and Harvard, 2 important institutions for setting trends in medicine, at least on the East Coast. Happily for dermatology, Aaron Lerner came to Yale in October 1955.

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