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September 1992

The Accuracy of Dermatologists in the Diagnosis of Melanoma

Author Affiliations

1300 S Division St Salisbury, MD 21801

Arch Dermatol. 1992;128(9):1278. doi:10.1001/archderm.1992.01680190138025

To the Editor.—  I have read with interest the study by Miller and Ackerman1 on the degree of accuracy in the diagnosis of melanoma by dermatologists. They make the assumption that if the word "melanoma" is not mentioned anywhere on the slip that accompanies the biopsy specimen that it was not considered in the diagnosis. When I fill out the pathology slip, I let the pathologist know what is on my mind by using the words "abnormal nevus," "irregularly pigmented nevus," or "nevus with change." I intentionally do not use the word melanoma, because, in my office, the patient will have the opportunity to read it as I am writing it or, later, after I leave the room, he or she may accidentally or intentionally be able to read this diagnosis on the pathology slip. I have had a few incidents in the past, before I started this practice,

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