By Abby S. Van Voorhees, MD,
April 01, 2013November is always a month that triggers thoughts of thankfulness.
Maybe you’ve been thinking about your family and the support and care that they provide for you. Or perhaps you’ve been thinking about our good fortune as dermatologists to be able to earn our living helping those with various kinds of skin diseases and concerns. For most of us, the list of things to be thankful for can extend on and on.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Bob Kalb’s Balance in Practice column about his work in Cambodia; I know that you will too. It sounds like both he and his family have found a common cause and learned many important life lessons — all while having the chance to make new friends and explore new horizons. I don’t know about you, but as a new empty nester I definitely took some mental notes for possible future plans with my family.
This issue also has two pieces that look at physician extenders and the roles they may be serving in our practices. With demand for our services at an all-time high many of us are looking to nurse practitioners and physician assistants to help us see the patients that require our attention. In the beginning many of us were managing these staff members based on intuition and common sense. But now that the road is a little more trodden it is important to make sure that we understand how allied health professionals are integrating their services in our practices. In this month’s Acta Eruditorum, Alexa Kimball discusses her article comparing the functioning of PAs in Mohs practices to that of non-Mohs surgical dermatology practices. Both the differences that she and her colleagues identified as well as the similarities were quite interesting. I think that you’ll also find it informative to read the second article about how some of our colleagues train their physician extenders. Lots of good ideas and suggestions.
I’m confident that you’ll appreciate this month’s piece on dermatologic apps. Some are well-known (even to me) while others are less so. With the development of electronic offerings expanding at breakneck speed, perhaps it is time to take stock and share a few that all might appreciate and want to be aware of. Think that you’ll find it very useful. Let us know if you have a favorite app that we missed. We’ll be taking this information and creating a space on the AAD website to serve as a repository.
And so we wind up again talking about what we appreciate. Personally the thing that I am always most thankful for, beyond my caring family, is that I live when and where I do. I like that I’m hanging out at a time when technology is revolutionizing so much around me, making the world seem smaller and more approachable. I care for patients with biologic medications that were unthinkable even a generation ago, and I fully suspect that the near future will see changes that are as dramatic. It sometimes seems like a bit of a bumpy ride, but I for one think that it is pretty exciting and I’m glad to be witnessing the action. Trust that you agree.
Enjoy your reading.
Abby S. VanVoorhees, MD