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March 1995

Should Dermatologists Teach Nondermatologists?

Author Affiliations

4836 Van Nuys Blvd Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

Arch Dermatol. 1995;131(3):355-356. doi:10.1001/archderm.1995.01690150121028

Again, the ''Issues in Dermatology'' section of the Archives highlights a topic of significant importance: dermatologists teaching nondermatologists.1

I do not believe that anyone would question the teaching traditions of dermatology. However, the onset of managed care with its restricted use of specialists, now compounded by the oversupply of physicians in many parts of the country, has altered the classic relationship among physicians. Previously, primary care physicians, busy as they were, seldom attempted to diagnose and treat specialty-related conditions. The goal of interspecialty teaching was to permit insights into fields other than one's own in an effort to maintain a well-rounded perspective of medicine in general. My own recollection of lectures given at the hospital's staff meetings include such diverse and basic topics as acne, herpes simplex, contact dermatitis, and laser surgery.

Unfortunately, the health care environment and the relationship among physicians has changed significantly in the past few

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