By Abby S. Van Voorhees, MD, December 03, 2012
The end of the year is a good time to take stock. 2012 was a big year of growth for Dermatology World on every front. So what’s been new? Derm World saw the addition of three new columns — Technically Speaking, our column on international dermatology, and the expansion of our Legally Speaking column — as well as the redesign of DW online. I’m a big fan of these new columns and I’ve been delighted to hear that you like them too.
Take, for example, our column on international dermatology. This month’s column tells us about dermatologic practice in Japan. I found it very interesting to read about ways that it varies from practice here in the U.S. But most of all I was struck by the fact that we in the United States could learn a lot from studying the issues that Japan is wrangling with. The impending crisis over health care costs as the population ages is reaching a critical level in that country. We in the United States have been spared this issue thus far, but with baby boomers aging, we too will soon face it. Payment systems, while different between our countries, share many of the same economic principles they are predicated on the idea that the young masses will pay for the welfare of the elderly. Aging population is also a problem in much of Europe as the average age of the population rises and birth rates fall. Paying attention to how Japan finesses this crisis may provide all of us with important lessons and strategies.
Our technology piece this month is also really relevant to our practices — which technologies to bring into the office. Maybe you’re one of the lucky few who feels that your practice is in perfect shape when it comes to computer-based technologies. Most of us, though, are probably still trying to figure out how to make things function more effectively. I hope that you find our piece on tablets versus laptops helpful in thinking about the choices in your practice.[pagebreak]
In addition to all of the new stuff, we have also pushed forward on our features, making them even more in-depth looks at topics. This month’s feature on maintenance of licensure is certainly a good example and an important issue for each of us. This will impact each of us somewhat differently depending on where you reside. We’ve all been hearing for a long while about maintenance of certification, but some states have now started pilot programs to regulate our competence. For those whose certification in dermatology is not time-limited, there may now be new reasons to reconsider participating in MOC. For those already involved in MOC, this may prove to be a cakewalk. Good to keep on our radar though.
And last, but not least, there is the reconfigured digital Derm World. This is a tool that too many of you are not taking advantage of, although the traffic is growing with each month. Let me remind you that there is lots of information located there — including additional stories, added content, and search capabilities — that does not appear in our print version. Do make sure that you give yourself a chance to browse the site at www.aad.org/dw and see for yourself.
So what’s coming in 2013? Lots of both new stuff as well as more of what you’ve already been enjoying. Expect to see more legal info coming down the pike with information that is both overarching, at a policy level, as well as some that is “deep in the trenches” practical. I think that you’ll like this breadth. Also hope that you’ll keep reading my column. So cheers to what has looked, from my vantage point, to have been a most successful year! Wishing you each a happy holiday and a healthy new year!
Enjoy your reading.