[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
April 2016

Should We Leave the Skin Biopsies to the Dermatologists?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Clinical Unit for Research Trials and Outcomes in Skin (CURTIS), Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston
JAMA Dermatol. 2016;152(4):371-372. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.5051

Skin cancer is the most common type of malignancy in the United States, and its morbidity continues to rise. In recent decades, the establishment of accountable care organizations has shifted the paradigm of physician compensation to a basis in performance measures. Given the profound economic burden of skin cancer, the accuracy of its diagnosis has the potential to be a useful performance measure. One way to evaluate diagnostic accuracy is to calculate the number needed to biopsy (NNB), or the number of biopsies needed to detect 1 skin cancer.