It is often said that dermatology is a “visual specialty.” While it is more than that, there is no escaping the central importance of the clinical examination to dermatologic diagnosis. The appearance, the morphology, the shape and distribution of lesions—these features are the illustration of illness, the manifestation of cutaneous or even systemic disease. The critical role of the physical examination, imparting the ability to make a diagnosis visually, is part of the art of dermatology and is shared by few other medical specialties.
Micheletti RG, Shinkai K, Madigan L. Introducing “Images in Dermatology”. JAMA Dermatol. 2018;154(11):1255–1256. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.3360
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