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May 1995

Peering at the Dermatology Literature

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology Beth Israel Hospital 330 Brookline Ave Boston, MA 02215

Arch Dermatol. 1995;131(5):602-603. doi:10.1001/archderm.1995.01690170104016

AS PHYSICIANS, we are inundated by an ever swelling river of information. We learn about the science and art of medicine and dermatology from many sources— mentors, colleagues, conferences and symposia, biomedical journals, textbooks, computer networks, audio cassettes, video tapes, CD-ROM discs, medical television, and pharmaceutical representatives. Peer reviewed publications stand at the interface between cutting edge technology and established medical practice. They serve not only as the affirmation of hot data often initially presented at meetings, but also as the primary source for comprehensive reviews and textbook chapters.

Physicians spend considerable time attempting to keep afloat on the waves of peer reviewed literature that daily pours into their mailboxes and libraries. A 1989 survey found that the average physician devoted 425 hours each year to educational activities of which 150 (3 hours each week) were allocated to journal reading.1 A recent survey of the Archives readership found that

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