Ronald G. Wheeland, M.D., is a private practitioner in Tucson, Ariz. He is former president of the American Academy of Dermatology, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery and the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, and a long-standing member of the Dermatology Times editorial Advisory board and a co-medical editor.
[Mentoring] “teaching” per se; although, education is usually a part of the process. Mentoring is more the action of providing help or assistance in dealing with some problem or issue that the mentee is having difficulty in dealing with it.
Several weeks ago an editorial appeared in our local newspaper. The basic premise of this editorial is that we doctors aren’t doing enough “to control healthcare costs.” This is in spite of the availability of an $840 million grant program under the ACA “to teach Medicare and Medicaid doctors new ways to offer higher-quality, better-coordinated, more cost-effective care.” From my experience as a practicing dermatologist in both academics and private practice, I have always felt that the specialty of dermatology was extremely cost effective while delivering high quality care to our patients. Providing high quality healthcare at a reasonable cost is not only incredibly difficult but also extremely complex.
There are no valid reasons, in my opinion, that everyone should not have access to high quality healthcare. Sadly, due to corrupt governments, geographic isolation, religious and ethnic conflicts, poor economies, inadequate education, ineffective leadership or a simple lack of will, much of the world’s population — especially those in Third World countries — has little or no access to healthcare. This is a gigantic problem with global implications that has no simple solution.
Regardless of the specialty, one commonality that has resulted from the multitudinous technologic advances and the improved quality and quantity of life is that they have all come at a significant cost.
I have been trying to catalog and assign relative importance to the many changes in the field of medicine that have occurred during my medical career. I first concentrated on the various federal policies and programs that have changed how we practice medicine. This part will review the development of new administrative tools as well as new technologies, drugs and devices that have impacted on dermatologic healthcare delivery.