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Ronald G. Wheeland, M.D.
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.
Mysteries of 'meaningful use' deter some physicians from adopting EHRs
One part of the healthcare reform package mandated under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes a measure to give physicians a financial incentive for developing "meaningful use" of their certified electronic health record technology. As I learn more and more about the meaningful use provision, I realize it involves a great deal more than just digitalizing patients' medical records.
Patient access to care suffers as Congress drags feet on Medicare fix
One of the main rallying cries for passage of healthcare reform legislation was to improve access to healthcare for the 47 million (or 32 million, depending on which source you happen to read) Americans who previously didn't have health insurance. Legislation that corrects this obvious shortcoming of our healthcare system is certainly welcomed. However, does this law accomplish that goal?
Latest group of young dermatologists appears poised to carry speciality into future
I had two pretty amazing experiences during the month of January that provided me an enormous amount of pleasure and happiness. Both experiences dealt with what I believe is the amazing new generation of dermatologists that will carry our specialty into the future.
The politics of healthcare reform
Even if one accepts that healthcare costs are rising at an unsustainable rate, why is there such a current rush to find the "magic" solution to the problem, when it is such an important issue? I believe the one-word answer to this question is this — politics.
Demonstrating physician competence: Do continuing medical education (CME) credits or recertification prove anything?
I've been thinking about the issue of how to demonstrate physician competence for quite some time. I have long felt that the requirement for physicians to document their annual continuing medical education (CME) hours or to take recertifying examinations to renew their medical license was, at best, a faulty way to prove competence.
Commentary: Remembering 'Bernie': A. Bernard Ackerman, M.D., left legacy of humanism, academic contributions
"I have felt professional losses in my life before. When the founding dean of my fledging medical school died unexpectedly, I was distraught for weeks. "
Legal: Firing your diabetic employee: Can you be sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act?
Dr. Job is a hard-working dermatologist practicing in a city hard hit by the downturn in the economy. Overhead is up, and revenues are down. He is left with no choice but to start terminating some employees.
Commentary: Politics and patient safety; lawmakers 'white hat' response seen as 'grandstanding'
I recently read a short newspaper story (USA Today, May 27, 2008) from California, where it was reported that "two lawmakers want greater protection for cosmetic surgery patients."
Commentary: Is Mohs Surgery Being Utilized Appropriately?
I was asked recently by a colleague as to when I thought she should refer patients with non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) for Mohs surgery? Admitting first off that I was not unbiased in this regard, since I am a fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon and practice Mohs surgery on an almost daily basis to generate part of my salary, provide revenue in support of various departmental functions and utilize the Mohs patients to provide part of the surgical training for my residents.

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