By Abby S. Van Voorhees, MD, September 01, 2011Everything seems to be just a bit too hot as the summer season starts to wind to a close. The political players of our government have been battling over how to get things done. Unfortunately we physicians seem to be right in the crosshairs. Unlike most summer storms which pass through my town, I suspect that this government tempest has not been followed by any lessening of tensions. Health care reform guarantees that the pot will remain hot and stirring for quite a while yet.
Many of you have told us that you like our articles on the happenings in Washington and how they relate to dermatology. If you share that interest, you will want to read this month’s feature on quality measures information being reported through Physician Compare. While we probably all would agree that a directory of information about physicians that patients can search is laudable in principle, the reality is less pleasing. Beset by inaccuracies and open to misinterpretation by the public, quality measures data is not a welcome addition to the ever-growing number of physician report cards. I know we all may find the measures by which we are being judged irksome. However, it is important that we all understand that we will be evaluated, and hopefully learning about the criteria may help us prepare mentally for this upcoming change.
This month we also highlight what is new with sunscreens. You’ll want to read up on the new rules for sunscreen manufacturers if you’ve missed the press releases over the past few months. Be sure to read about the controversy of oxybenzone and hormones too. You’ll want to be sure to know what patients are asking about. Hope that we’ve given you some points you might want to mention.
The Acta Eruditorum column this month highlights one of the new discoveries in dermatology — the role of propranolol in treating ulcerating hemangiomas. It’s looking more and more like this therapy is going to be a “keeper” in our armamentarium for infants with these lesions. I suspect that you’ll enjoy reading more about this approach as I did.
And certainly I must encourage all to read about the newest thoughts regarding the possible role of dietary triggers of acne. Now I ask you, why are my favorite foods always on the bad list? Ice cream, chocolate, what else is one to eat on these long steamy summer nights? Not sure that I’ll make believers of my teenagers. Asparagus or Brussels sprouts would have been a much easier sale.
I hope that you have each had a chance for a little rest and time for some reflection this summer and are now ready to take on fall’s challenges. I’m getting ready for some well-deserved R and R once my younger two head off to college. If I get lonely I may just have to risk a flare of acne and break out the chocolate…good thing that I know a dermatologist.
Enjoy your reading.
Abby S. VanVoorhees, MD