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October 1978

A Study of the Practice of Dermatology in the United States: Initial Findings

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Research in Medical Education, the University of Southern California, Los Angeles (Drs Girard and Lloyd and Messrs DeFlorio and Mendenhall), and the Departments of Dermatology, New York University Medical Center, New York (Dr Ramsay), and the University of Virginia, Charlottesville (Dr Weary).

Arch Dermatol. 1978;114(10):1456-1462. doi:10.1001/archderm.1978.01640220005002

• A nationwide study of the practice activities of dermatologists reports that dermatology is a predominantly outpatient specialty, with 97% of patient encounter occurring outside of the hospital. The average dermatologist cares for approximately 7,000 patients a year and functions almost exclusively as a specialist, with only 2.2% of his cases related to nondermatologic problems. The dermatologist performs a type of primary care, however, with seven out of ten patients being self-referred. Eighty-seven percent of dermatologic encounters can be categorized into 25 disease conditions. This study serves to increase the understanding of how the dermatologist cares for his patients.

(Arch Dermatol 114:1456-1462, 1978)