By Abby S. Van Voorhees, MD, November 01, 2013
You can't do much better than free.
We all gripe and groan about the rising costs of everything, from running our businesses to maintaining the homes we live in. I know you’ll find it hard to believe, but there are some of us who complain about the cost of the AAD membership. Rarely do we hear of costs going down. And when they do, like with the housing bubble, it is generally not to our advantage. That is why free stands out.
This month we focus on something that the Academy is going to give to us for free. The new patient safety workbook created by the AAD puts in one place the steps that are helpful to facilitate surgical site accreditation. That the process is still a lot of work is unfortunately true, but it sure is nice that some of our fellow dermatologists, working under the umbrella of the Academy, put this workbook together. And did I say that it is free? You’ll be able to download it from the website. What a terrific benefit of our membership! I don’t know about you, but I can afford the cost of the paper! So definitely put this on your to-do list ... both for the safety of your patients and to guide your establishment of safe practices.
Also this month we write about the increasing presence of non-physician clinicians in dermatology. Clearly one reason for this is that there aren’t enough dermatologists being trained, and this translates into long waiting lists for appointments. A full 40 percent of us now employ these providers, allowing us to handle more patients and help us serve our communities. With the number of physicians static and the number of non-physician clinicians growing, the face of dermatology will continue to change. Learning to be the captain of the dermatology team is going to be critical to the success of our futures.
We see in yet another article that there is another change coming too — it’s called clinical integration. Clinical integration means aligning one’s interests with other physicians in the care of patients. Shay and Gosfield advise us to start talking to the various players in our neighborhoods. They say that the key to a successful integration is making sure that you have a unifying vision. This will allow your interests to align with the other providers. Again, we hear that the key step is free: talking and listening.
Americans have always liked getting things for free. Land was practically free for much of the 1800s; the frontier did not officially close until 1890. And now free stuff is back once again courtesy of the AAD. So don’t forget to download the workbook, and while you are doing so be sure to say some thanks to the Academy. Hope that this gets you in the mood for the holiday and that you get a chance to relax a bit over the Thanksgiving weekend, enjoying the company of family and other loved ones. Happy Thanksgiving to all.
Enjoy your reading.