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By Warren R. Heymann, MD
March 13, 2019
Vol. 1, No. 1

Keeping up with clinically relevant dermatologic literature has become an increasingly daunting task. The time constraints facing dermatologists (and all physicians) have multiplied, as have administrative demands, burdens of electronic records, etc., challenging even the most time-efficient, organized practitioner.

Dermatology World Insights and Inquiries (DWI&I) is the culmination of a process that began years ago. When I had the honor of editing Dialogues in Dermatology, I needed to read widely, writing three commentaries per month. Although demanding, I truly felt “at the top of my game.”

There was a void once my editorship ended. Although I continued to read broadly, it was not with the same urgency, purpose, or alacrity. A sense of mastery is vital in battling burnout. Mukherjee observed that when she and her colleagues survived burnout by committing themselves to research. “We didn’t burn out, perhaps, by burning a little more.” (1)

In 2010, when my residents at (what is now) Cooper Medical School of Rowan University asked me to lead our journal club, I was skeptical, because my prior experience with journal clubs was that of someone else choosing an article, which was then dissected and criticized to the hilt. I agreed to take on the responsibility, but under the conditions that I would only discuss articles that I believed to be clinically relevant and worthwhile.

Interestingly, other educators have now endorsed my philosophy. The rudiments of the “traditional journal club” (teaching critical reading skills, analyzing study design, and evaluating biostatistics) are increasingly taught in medical school. “Redesigned journal clubs” focusing on a synopsis approach of pertinent literature, shared responsibility, and some in-depth analysis are supplanting them. (2)

The recently retired Richard Lehman’s weekly review of the medical literature of the BMJ served as inspiration. I admired his viewpoint that “Chuckling while learning something useful is a rare experience in medicine, and it works for the writer too.” (3) Dr. Lehman’s approach served as a useful model for a synopsis-based journal club.

In 2013, the synopses were distributed to the Philadelphia Dermatological Society, becoming its official journal club. By 2016, so many articles had been discussed; faulty memories necessitated an easy system to retrieve prior commentaries. Thus, Dermatology Insights and Inquiries (DI&I) was established. The primary goals were to be relevant, readable, responsive, retrievable, and reliable. I am indebted to Drs. Adam Rubin and Richard Wortzel, both of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, who offered careful critiques of the website, vastly improving its utility.

In 2017, DI&I was the recipient of the AAD Sulzberger Dermatologic Institute and Education Grants Committees Program for Innovative Continuing Medical Education in Dermatology (PICMED) Grant, funded by an endowment established by the Skin Disease Education Foundation and the Elsevier Foundation.Since its inception, DI&I has developed a world-wide following, with many commentaries published in other venues with permission. 

I am delighted that DI&I has now transitioned to DWI&I. The original welcome to DI&I stated: “The goal of this website is to improve the practice of dermatology, while being stimulating, practical, thought-provoking, and enlightening. Perspectives on current dermatologic literature are offered that are meant to be used in the clinic. As we assimilate new information, an ever increasing number of questions arise that need to be addressed to optimize patient care.” This remains the objective of DWI&I.

Please look around the website. Use the search function, or explore the archives where you can access reviews by clinical topic, practice focus, and medical journal source.

DWI&I is not an individual effort. We have recruited a world-class editorial team that will offer unparalleled insights and perspectives on current dermatologic literature. As busy as you are, we will strive to make sure that your weekly 10 minutes spent with DWI&I keep you at the top of your game!

1.    Mukherjee S. For doctors, delving deeper as a way to avoid burnout. New York Times, Oct 10, 2018.
2.    Dickerson RN, Wood GC, Swanson JM, Brown RO. Redesigning journal clubs to staying current with the literature. Pharmacy (Basel) 2017; Nov 6; 5(4). pii: E62. doi: 10.3390/pharmacy5040062.
3.    Tonks A. Richard Lehman’s sunshine act. https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2018/08/20/richard-lehmans-sunshine-act/.


 


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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