How do you stay current?

February 1, 2006

Dermatologists report using various methods to keep abreast of the latest in dermatology, often with an eye to finding news outlets that are most accessible.

Both personal and professional factors affect how dermatologists keep up with the latest developments in their field.

As a result, dermatologists report that they use various methods to keep abreast of the latest in dermatology, often with an eye to finding news outlets that are most accessible to them.

On Call asked dermatologists around the country their preferred method of staying current in their field, and found that while advances in technology and the ever-more-sophisticated methods of multimedia presentations may increase the slickness of the products, dermatologists still like to read.

Some doctors prefer the official journals published by their professional organizations, while others swear by the specialty-specific newsmagazines.

Michele E. Gasiorowski, M.D., who is in practice with her husband in Greenwich, Conn., discusses her reasons for reading and lists a number of publications she peruses.

"I prefer print because I can walk around with that. I can take them with me and I can open them up whenever I want to - I don't have to be on my computer all the time."

Dr. Gasiorowski, in practice more than 25 years, says the newsmagazines can offer pertinent information in a timely manner.

"They have all the recent information in them - it often shows up there before it makes it to the journals. If it's something I'm interested in, I will follow it up at the meetings or call colleagues to find out what they think."

She reads the journal from the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), Dermatology Times, the Aesthetic Buyers Guide, Aesthetic Surgery, and Skin and Allergy News.

Kenneth Lloyd, M.D., who has a practice with his daughter in Youngstown, Ohio, almost ran out of breath before he ran through his list of reading material.

"Basically, I read the blue Journal of the American Association of Dermatology, I read the Archives, the New England Journal of Medicine, the Annals of Internal Medicine, Dermatology Times and Skin and Allergy News.

"I also read the New York Times on a daily basis, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune and Forbes magazine."

Business sources

Dr. Lloyd says the business magazines often provide excellent medical insight.

"People ask me why I read the business journals and I tell them that they always give us information before it's published in medical circles.

"Most of the drug companies - when they want to promote new drugs - will put the information out into the business publications. They're able to talk about what they are doing from a business standpoint well before they are really able to put the information out formally in the medical press.

"Medicine today is a business. The pharmaceutical companies want the people to start thinking about the drugs before they're actually produced, so that they have a better shot of winning when they actually can market the drugs."

In Plymouth, Mass., Anne-Sophie J. Gadenne, M.D., says she uses several methods of gathering information all at once, so it's hard to choose a preferred option.

"Actually, I do read the specialty-specific newsmagazines. I always go through those because I get the information firsthand.

"The magazines are easy to look at, and I truly believe they give me the latest information. They're not like long, rambling technical studies - they're just easier to read."

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