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September 2013

Presidential Practice of Dermatology

Author Affiliations
  • 1Georgetown University/Washington Hospital Center, Department of Dermatology, Washington, DC
  • 2Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC
JAMA Dermatol. 2013;149(9):1032. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.4912

Lyndon Johnson, the 36th President of the United States, had many careers en route to the White House (schoolteacher, local administrator, naval officer, and elected public official), but his brief stint as an amateur dermatologist is generally overlooked. Johnson’s unorthodox approach to treating severe facial acne was first tried while he was an undergraduate at Southwest Texas State Teachers’ College. A classmate who witnessed the episode is quoted verbatim in the first volume of Robert Caro’s monumental biography of Johnson1:

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