This evening is an infrequent event, the confluence of Christmas Eve and the start of Hanukkah; the last time this occurred was 1978, when I was a senior medical student and decided to become a dermatologist. What a gift dermatology has been! Practically four decades later, I still have a sense of awe and wonder about our discipline that challenges and excites me. I am truly fortunate.
This past April I started Dermatology Insights and Inquiries (DI&I) without knowing what to expect. There were several motivations to do so, most importantly, for a selfish reason. When I was editor of Dialogues in Dermatology, I felt as up-to-date on the literature as I could possibly be. I wanted to recreate that for myself, but making a format that allowed for more personal creativity. DI&I has afforded me that opportunity, and I have learned so much in the process – not just about dermatology, but also website design, search engine optimization, legal ramifications of social media, et cetera. Most importantly, though, I know that I have become a better dermatologist by examining the literature more critically and sharing my perspectives.
As for the proverbial truism that “nothing happens in a vacuum”, I would like to publicly thank two colleagues, Rick Wortzel and Adam Rubin, both of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, for taking the time to analyze the website and offer invaluable constructive criticism on how to improve it.
In the pre-computer era, I would always be delighted to receive a reprint request for one of my publications, especially if the inquiry was from a foreign country. Part of the joy of this website is knowing that it is viewed throughout the world, seeing the actual statistics, learning which entries are popular, and where they are being downloaded. As of today the site has been viewed more than 7,500 times and more than 80 dermatologists have opted to subscribe. While those numbers would not be considered “viral” by internet standards, I am honored that an increasing number of like-minded readers find this forum meaningful.
The gift that you have given to me is your time in reading these entries – if you have learned something new that has improved the lives of your patients, that is the greatest gift of all! Please feel free to share this site with colleagues – the more people that benefit, the better!
Please accept my warmest wishes to you and your families for the happiest of holiday seasons and a marvelous 2017. Despite the world’s adversities and challenges, it is a good time for reflection on improving our professional lives and that of our patients. Thank you for making Dermatology Insights and Inquiries part of your dermatology universe!