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September 1986

To Hang Together or Separately

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Philadelphia, PA 19104

Arch Dermatol. 1986;122(9):997-998. doi:10.1001/archderm.1986.01660210047015

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Benjamin Franklin stated in 1776 that "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately." This sententious piece of Philadelphian wisdom is absolutely appropriate for American dermatology in 1986. Our specialty is being presented with a continuum of challenges that are unmatched in the history of American dermatology. The problems increase in number and magnitude daily. Most distressing to me is that our response to these difficulties has resulted in the appearance of divisiveness within our specialty. I came to dermatology in 1968 after extended training in academic internal medicine. I was impressed, surprised, and delighted with the unity and esprit of dermatology. The pervasive sense of respect and warmth among all elements of the specialty was palpable. Clinical dermatologists, teachers, surgeons, and basic and clinical investigators shared a truly happy, collegial commitment. I am afraid things are changing.

There is now a proliferation of groups whose

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