I Wish I Had Known: The Value of Collaborating with Physicians in Other Specialties

Dermatology is a relatively small and incredibly unique discipline within medicine.

With the typical medical school curriculum dedicating at most a few weeks to our specialties. And yet provides insights into the overall well-being of patients that are often priceless. Early in one’s career, it is easy to become so engrossed in mastering the rich and diverse nuances of our field that other important aspects of patient care may be neglected. As time passes, it is all too common for dermatologists to become somewhat isolated in the ambulatory setting. Escalating responsibilities in terms of practice management, along with mounting pressures on the health care system, lead us to focus on delivering increasingly efficient skin care. Leaving less time to collaborate with health care providers of other disciplines on complex systemic problems.

At the same time, we know that a large and diverse cohort of systemic maladies involve the skin. And these diseases are most often best handled through multidisciplinary management. Furthermore, our specialty’s reputation in the house of medicine greatly depends on our accessibility and willingness to work closely with physicians in other fields. Making it a priority to build strong relationships with a diverse group of providers helps to broaden our expertise, enhances our visibility in the medical community, and most importantly, benefits our patients.