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From the editor

From the Editor

Abby Van Voorhees

Dr. Van Voorhees is the physician editor of Dermatology World

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The official flower for the month of May is the lily of the valley.

It was a favorite with the Victorians, who considered it a symbol of humility, sweetness, and returning happiness. I have recently grown fond of this plant too since it survives well in the shade of my yard, has a sweet scent, and, most importantly, works well as a ground cover. And yet there are those who dislike this plant, considering it to be a weed because it spreads readily and can be difficult to eradicate. I guess they have not seen my yard.

It is the same with some of our technological gadgets — great tools, but they can be intrusive and invasive. Who amongst us has not seen someone chatting on the phone instead of working? Just yesterday, as I drove by the site of an accident, I could hear the cop chatting on the phone about her hair dresser appointment while supposedly at work. This month’s Legally Speaking deals with this conundrum. How do we set limits on our electronic connectivity with our staff so that their personal space doesn’t invade our office work? You may not be able to control the fact that the person at the next table in the restaurant is gabbing loudly while you are trying to dine in peace, but Rob Portman, JD, tells us that you can control what happens in your office. Cell phone use, texting, Internet surfing, and social networking … we should all have office policies that govern their use so that staff is clear about what is acceptable. After reading this article you will better understand how to develop and implement these types of policies. Sort of like smoking … a nuisance that you can regulate in your own space. Maybe I also need a policy at home to govern texting during dinner.

I heard from Dr. Stanley Hoffman during this month, one of our own from North Carolina. He read our Acta Eruditorum piece on using vials of botulinum toxin as multi-use vials and made a suggestion that some of you might find useful. In Dr. Hoffman’s office an entire vial is divided into ten 0.3 ml syringes (10 units each). He finds that this has three advantages. First, it avoids the need for a second use of a single-use vial. Another advantage he finds is that it allows him to avoid having a dull needle when he does multiple injections on a single patient, since the botulinum toxin is then in smaller units. Third, he feels that the size of the syringe allows him to have better control while injecting patients. That might not pass muster with some of the regulators who visit my hospital, but I thought that it might be an approach that other offices would find helpful. Thanks for a good tip, Stanley!

Lots of good articles to read this month; I know that you will find each of great use. Hope that you enjoy them. And while you are at it, take a minute to enjoy the spring … I’ll be planting more “weeds” this month despite their invasiveness!

Enjoy your reading.