By Abby S. Van Voorhees, MD, April 02, 2012Did you know that April is named for Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty?
The name of this month certainly fits in Philadelphia, since it is such a lovely time of the year. My garden shows its first signs of awakening with spring bulbs coming into their glory. The milder weather usually lets me return to the outdoor world, limited only by the frequent showers. And as I do, I am struck by the newness of it all. Despite having experienced many a spring, I find that each year is as delicious as ever. I especially looked forward to the spring’s arrival this year after having my taste buds whetted by being in San Diego in March. Suspect that I’m not the only one. It was a very successful meeting for me … I enjoyed seeing many of you, and of course attending the lectures too. Hope that you also found it rewarding.
We start this month with another of our new columnists, Gilly Munavalli, MD, MHS, who will be writing for us on various technology topics. He talks to us about how to utilize your personnel in the world of the electronic health record. We all got good at the hand-off of paper charts, passing the often-storied tomes as a part of the passage into the exam room. But now relearning that dance, so that it works effectively and efficiently in the digital age, is critical to each of us. Delegation of tasks is still possible, but electronic linkage of notes has become the new paradigm, and understanding the possible role of scribes vs. medical assistants is important. Hope that you like this new column and find it useful in your practice.
Spring also gives us a chance to take a new look at health care in Britain in our debuting international column. Each year we will be getting a chance to explore dermatologic care in three other parts of the world ranging from Europe to Asia to South America and Africa. We need to join forces with our brethren all over the world to figure out how to meet the needs of patients with skin disease. I found it really interesting to read about the evolving role of dermatologic specialist nurses in England, and to see how dermatologists there are using these nurses to manage the patient load. Their role as a bridge between primaries and the dermatology practices is especially intriguing, with these nurses often serving as the liaison for patients returned to the referring physicians and providing continuing clinical advice to these practices. While it would certainly be fun to travel to each place to add my two cents to these pieces, I know that we’ll all learn a lot hearing about dermatology around the world. Our next stop will be Brazil, so stay tuned.
Don’t limit your reading though to just these two. I personally loved reading the piece about tattoos. Didn’t surprise me to read that 40 percent of millennials are sporting these embellishments. For sport sometimes during a long day, I’ll ask patients why they chose their particular tattoo. Strikes me that it often was a fairly impulsive decision, or at least so they say. But the numbers are truly growing with people from grandmas to hipsters all sporting a personal statement. I’m just hoping my three millennials don’t surprise me with body art of their own. As the article tells us, we are in the midst of a “tattoo renaissance.” Being a resource for both education about risks as well as providing tools for their removal falls squarely in our lap, and so this feature has much of interest for all. Who knows, Aphrodite may have wanted a little heart tattoo too. Maybe the Greeks were just having a different renaissance.
Enjoy your reading!