The field of dermatology involves the study, research, diagnosis, and management of health conditions affecting the skin, fat, hair, nails, and membranes. Dermatologists are responsible for the diagnosis and treatment decisions of a wide variety of skin conditions and diseases with many types of therapies including both topical and systemic agents. Some of these are performed in the doctor’s office and others in a hospital setting.
This month, Dermatology Review features an article that reports on a study which analyzed online patient reviews of dermatology practices.10 While some physicians may resist the concept of patients as consumers, these online perspectives highlight important patient-relevant dimensions of quality care. The findings of this study support other qualitative studies in other clinical specialties,10-16 and suggest that the general tenets of patient satisfaction may be applicable to dermatology.
Another featured article this month is a clinical case written by the dermatology residents at George Washington University.
It outlines the presentation of an unusual case and provides details on the differential diagnosis and treatment. The case is intended to demonstrate that a good history and thorough physical examination is essential in the evaluation of dermatological conditions.
Dermatology is a visual medical discipline that requires watchful eyes, profound knowledge of different morphologic patterns of various dermatoses, and extensive clinical experience. A meticulous cutaneous examination can help the physician to generate a close differential diagnosis and decide on the appropriate therapy for the condition.
The journal also features a number of clinical trials that report on new developments in the management of various dermatological conditions. For example, Blauvelt et al3 report that the Janus kinase inhibitor upadacitinib is superior to dupilumab in improving symptoms and clinical signs of moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis.
In addition, there are articles on a variety of other topics of interest to dermatologists and those who treat them. For example, the authors of a recent study,15 describe the use of tyrosinase inhibitors to reduce skin pigmentation in dark-skinned individuals with vitiligo.
The editorial leadership at JAMA Dermatology continues to make the publication process as efficient and productive as possible. This year, they were successful in reducing the median days from acceptance to publication while maintaining high-quality review and rigorous peer-review standards. Their efforts are helping to keep the journal at the forefront of the medical literature. The impact factor remains in the double digits, an encouraging sign for this specialty.