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September 2002

The Debate Over Diagnostic Accuracy in Melanoma: Dermatologists or General Practitioners?

Author Affiliations

Not Available

Arch Dermatol. 2002;138(9):1251-1252. doi:10.1001/archderm.138.9.1251

We read with interest "A Comparison of Dermatologists' and Primary Care Physicians' Accuracy in Diagnosing Melanoma: A Systematic Review" by Chen and colleagues.1 The main conclusion of this article is that the published data are inadequate to demonstrate differences in dermatologists' and primary care physicians' diagnostic and biopsy or referral accuracy. The authors stated that, even if we were able to prove better diagnostic accuracy in dermatologists, this would not convince policymakers, unless we were also able to show that the direct access to the dermatologist is better than the "gatekeeper approach" through general practitioners (GPs). In the "Comment" section, the authors do not mention a recent study that gives new light to this problem.

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