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May 2001

Dermatologic Surgeons Will Determine What's in Their Name: Both High Quality and High Standards

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2001 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2001

Arch Dermatol. 2001;137(5):664. doi:

In reply

Dr Ackerman ponders "Why the pique that peeks through and between the lines?" This is quite disingenuous because Dr Ackerman knows all too well that dermatologic surgeons are very concerned over his continued use of the word cosmetologist in reference to cosmetic dermatologic surgery. This has occurred in private, in public, and in print. At the International Dermatology Retreat in Atlanta, Ga, in 1998, he used this disparaging term in front of a large audience of international dermatologists. He closed by stating "I don't care whose feelings I hurt." We immediately pointed out to him that the word cosmetologist refers to minimally trained individuals, usually with only a high school education. We also told him that we found the term highly insulting. This has been repeated to him again in print and through mutual friends. Using the word cosmetologist to refer to fellow dermatologists is simply a slur and will not be tolerated.