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DWI&I holiday greeting 2020: Eyeing dermatology’s future 

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By Warren R. Heymann, MD
Dec. 18, 2019
Vol. 1, No. 40

Dr. Warren Heymann photo

2020 will be replete with innumerable references focusing on vision. As I composed this holiday greeting, I had the privilege of touring Norway above the Arctic Circle, perplexed and awestruck by the Northern Lights. Vision may be hindsight, current, or foresight. I appreciated why ancient Norse mythology attributed the strange flickering lights of the northern skies to the armor of Valkyrior, and why other cultures developed their own theories. Millennia transpired before understanding that charged particles in the magnetosphere caused by solar winds are responsible for this atmospheric display. Yet do we really understand the astrophysics of this phenomenon? (I barely understand why the rods and cones of my retina see the aurora borealis as a milky white, but the camera sees a brilliant green). Unquestionably, generations from now, our current comprehension of the Northern (or Southern) lights will seem rudimentary (if not disproven) by future astrophysicists.

Aurora borealis
Image courtesy of Rhonda E. Schnur, MD

Is knowledge of dermatology any different? In my professional lifetime, I have witnessed previously unfathomable advances, starting with isotretinoin, and currently with targeted therapies, all based on molecular biology that has revolutionized our comprehension of cutaneous disorders. These advances will accelerate over the next decade — I anticipate that the holiday commentary for 2030 will be breathtaking!

For those of us in practice, of course, we need to concentrate on how we can provide the best care for our patients today. Dermatology World Insights and Inquiries was developed to help clinicians keep current with the dermatologic literature, with an eye toward tomorrow. Already, more than 100,000 views of the website have occurred. 

The process of bringing DWI&I to fruition has been exhilarating, and many thanks are in order — to the dedicated DWI&I editorial board, our guest contributors, my associate editor Danielle DeHoratius, and our AAD publisher Richard Nelson. Most importantly, thank you — the members of the AAD — for welcoming DWI&I into your weekly reading.  

On behalf of the entire DWI&I team, I wish you and your family a healthy and happy holiday season and a wonderful 2020. However you envision it, I hope all your aspirations become reality.

All content found on Dermatology World Insights and Inquiries, including: text, images, video, audio, or other formats, were created for informational purposes only. The content represents the opinions of the authors and should not be interpreted as the official AAD position on any topic addressed. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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