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September 1996

Restructuring Dermatology Education at Cleveland Medical Centers Affiliated With Case Western Reserve University

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Dermatology and the Skin Diseases Research Center at Case Western Reserve University (Drs Wood, Lynch, Davis, Chren, Baud, Brodell, Elewski, Martin, and Cooper), University Hospitals of Cleveland (Drs Wood, Lynch, Chren, Baud, Brodell, Elewski, Martin, and Cooper), the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Drs Wood, Lynch, Chren, and Cooper), and Metro-Health Medical Center (Dr Davis), Cleveland, Ohio.

Arch Dermatol. 1996;132(9):1085-1090. doi:10.1001/archderm.1996.03890330099017

We describe our response to the changing needs for dermatologic education and training at Cleveland medical centers affiliated with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine (CWRU) located in Cleveland, Ohio. Our departmental plan for change is a multifaceted approach that alters the number of dermatology residents we train and also the way we interact with and educate our generalist colleagues. Like many other dermatologists,1-3 we have both idealistic and practical reasons for increasing our involvement in interdisciplinary education. One of our primary objectives is maximizing quality of care for dermatologic patients in our community. Traditionally, the majority of skin care in the United States has been provided by nondermatologists, and with the growth of managed care, this proportion is increasing.4,5 This has motivated us to increase our medical student teaching activities and to support the American Academy of Dermatology in its current efforts to develop a dermatology core curriculum for students. We should also be involved in the education of generalist physicians, since prior studies have suggested that their knowledge of dermatology needs improvement.6-16 Our goals should be both to improve the direct patient care skills of primary care physicians and to teach clinically appropriate referral thresholds. The American Academy of Dermatology has recently issued guidelines for the referral of dermatology patients in managed care settings to help ensure that our specialty has input into this process.17 In addition, teaching gatekeeper physicians to use appropriate referral criteria is important to many dermatologists in capitated managed care systems who often prefer limited as opposed to unrestricted access to their services.

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