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December 1963

But Who Teaches the Patient?A Proposal

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania.

Arch Dermatol. 1963;88(6):935-936. doi:10.1001/archderm.1963.01590240259044

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When we congratulate ourselves on the scientific and technical strides that are being made in dermatology and on the progress in training in our field, let us not overlook the ever-widening gulf that separates the education of the dermatologist from that of his patient. This gap grows wider as science and technology move forward while the education of the patient lags behind. This is a characteristic of the times in all fields.

We are apt to feel that many patients "just ought to know more" about their disease or about the modern treatment that we offer to cure or alleviate their skin conditions. True, an occasional well-informed person may have read something about his condition in one of the lay magazines or from a newspaper column; but the fact remains that the average patient is, dermatologically-speaking, uninformed. Our patient's knowledge of skin disease and its treatment is a hodgepodge of

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