By Abby Van Voorhees, MD, September 01, 2015
Most of us are ambivalent about change. However, sometimes the flush of something new makes us willing to set aside the familiar. New things can be fun and many of us love the excitement that the newness brings. And so it is in the publishing world.
So what is new with DW this month? Lots. First of all, I hope that you’ve each been enjoying our Derm World videos online. Nada Elbuluk, MD, just started a recurring video column called Trending that highlights two scientific papers and their findings. Feeling guilty that life has kept you away from reading your journals? Then tune into her video. In just a couple of minutes you’ll be smarter — easy as that.
Our print issue this month highlights some of our newest drugs: the biologics. Who would have thought that we’d be talking about multiple drugs for those with melanoma even just two years ago? BRAF and MEK have “new friends;” you’ll want to know about ipilimumab, nivolumab, and pembrolizumab just to name a few. New treatments in the areas of psoriasis, eczema, hidradenitis, vitiligo, and dermatomyositis are also highlighted. It is truly a wonderful thing to learn of therapies for diseases that have been vexing for so long.
Accompanying this month’s issue we will be debuting seven roundtable videos highlighting the latest in biologics. Like our series from last year you’ll want to hear your friends and mentors talking about these hot new developments in the biologic arena. Nothing beats hearing thought-leaders like Larry Eichenfield talking about his excitement over what is going on in drug development for children. In addition to Larry we have a great lineup including Mark Lebwohl, Joel Gelfand, Alan Menter, Lisa Beck, and Michael Heffernan. We also talk about the problems of access since what good is a treatment that is unobtainable...a lot is at stake for our patients. We’ll let you know as these segments roll out...I know you’ll enjoy them.
DW this month also highlights some new research going on in our specialty. Alexa Kimball talks about using PGA scoring to track outcomes for both acne and psoriasis patients in clinic. This has allowed her to demonstrate to insurers the benefits of treatment as well as to document the severity of patients. While you might be thinking “Oh no, something else I’ll need to do for that pesky insurer,” I think it is better than the alternative which is to not get paid. So I think that her use of this tool that previously was thought of just for research is pretty clever. Read about her recent paper that we highlight in my Acta column.
I also have a big change to report this month. I’ve moved to Virginia to head the department of dermatology at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk. The unpacking has been rough (who knew I had so much stuff!), but the opportunities are exciting. I trust that this new adventure will have me smiling for quite some time. I will miss my friends and colleagues from Philadelphia. But I will keep thinking of that childhood ditty about silver and gold, embracing the new but holding on to the old.
Enjoy your reading.