Lure of cosmetic procedures compounds a shortage of dermatologists

  • Article by: JOHN EWOLDT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 22, 2014 - 10:46 PM

Cosmetic procedures tend to pay much better than treating malignant moles or other medical conditions.

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lucyart1940Feb. 22, 14 4:40 PM

Cosmetic injections are primarily done by RNs at the derm's office, and chemical peels are done by aestheticians, not MDs

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sparkle78Feb. 22, 14 6:29 PM

That's why I choose to go to Dr.Crutchfield. He does all of the injections himself. Always. Not only do I trust him with my cosmetic care I know myself and my family are in the best hands with his medical care. There are wait times at most specialty clinics. I have never had any issue getting in if I had an urgent concern for myself or my family. I think the whole idea of Derm's putting medical care in the back seat to cosmetic treatments is ridiculous. I feel so much better having a dermatologist performing my injections vs. a strip mall shop or any other physician who doesn't specialize in skin. I would be pretty leery of going to a specialist where was no wait time to get in. And one more thing...maybe a part of the reason for the expected rise in Melanomas and skin cancers are due to the fact that most people don't even know what to look for and or what is abnormal. I would have no idea if I didn't go to Dr.Crutchfield. I just wish I would have began care with him years ago. It's amazing what you learn and what to look for. So my main point to get out there is find a Dermatologist and establish care. Oh....and wear sunscreen and DO NOT go in tanning beds. Duh.

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mariezzFeb. 22, 14 9:02 PM

I agree with Dr. Spencer that there is a lot that isn't ethical happening in dermatologist's offices. I wonder what research findings Dr. Zelickson has showing that his skin care product actually do what they claim? Considering there is little support for the claims most other skin care products make (other than the ones which include chemical compounds which temporarily make it seem like wrinkles are slightly less - although the effect doesn't last), I doubt Zelickson's products' claims will be back by any well-designed research studies. People should be aware there are also lots of ways to state things which make it more likely that you'll spend money on a product, yet it does absolutely nothing for your skin's health (or in some case, has a negative effect). The cosmetics industry is expert at manipulating their claims so that customers will buy their products.

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mariezzFeb. 22, 14 9:09 PM

Part of the reason there are too few doctors now is that the American Medical Association has worked to ensure there is a shortage - they play a roll in deciding how many medical students graduate each year. (Somehow the people involved in this decision making failed to notice that baby boomers were approaching their senior years - or did they notice this, but decide it was more lucrative to physicians to keep them in short supply?) Medical schools need to be increasing the number of students. Yes, that requires some adjustments to accommodate more students, but it's not an impossible thing to do. We could also adopt policies which make it more possible for physicians educated in other countries become MDs here (our policies are make this more difficult than is the case in many western European countries). We also need to graduate more physicians assistants and advanced registered nurse practitioners, and in many states, they could be practicing more independently than they currently are. (In some states, like Washington, they are allowed to practice more independently, while in other states, they are not.)

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wingknutFeb. 22, 1410:35 PM

Even dentists and oral surgeons are getting in on the cosmetic procedures.

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trythinkingFeb. 23, 1412:47 AM

Certainly is nice to have those barriers to entry to boost the incomes of what seem to be glorified cosmetologists--at least that's what they turn to, once they get their dermatology designation.

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chuckspearerFeb. 23, 14 7:36 AM

Truth is... Obamacare is driving Doctors away from dermatology. Why accept the low pay that Obamacare promises doctors when the line of patients with cash on hand is a block long elsewhere?

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cfs611Feb. 23, 14 8:10 AM

As a dermatologist the majority of my time is spent diagnosing and treating the current epidemic of skin cancer. Next, it's taking care of challenging medical dermatology cases such as complicated psoriasis and immunobullous disease. The small percentage of my practice that is cosmetic dermatology I do so that I know that my patients are having their procedures done safely and appropriately by me, not by someone who was trained on a weekend. Protecting my patients is part of my mission and this works toward that goal. Perhaps most important in your article is Dr. Tsang's point and it deserves emphasis. The challenge seeing a dermatologist is multifactorial and is only the tip of this iceberg. The Association of American Medical Colleges projects a shortage of more than 90,000 physicians by the end of the decade and 60,000 as early as 2015 especially primary care physicians in rural and underserved areas. In order to meet the demand, medical schools have set a goal of increasing enrollment by 30 percent by 2020. In 2013, four new schools opened, and existing schools have increased the size of their incoming classes. But without a corresponding increase in residency slots, the physician shortage will persist. There are currently insufficient residency programs available to complete the training of our new medical graduates and the problem is compounding as we increase the number of medical students. We need to solve this and quickly, so our student doctors can do what they have dedicated themselves to do: take care of people. This is a matter of funding and our legislators need to take notice. Cindy Firkins Smith, M.D. President, Minnesota Medical Association

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patasticFeb. 23, 14 8:12 AM

Weird. Cosmetic procedures- not covered by insurance- demand high- doctors spend more time doing and get paid more. Medical procedures- covered by insurance- demand high- doctors not spending more time and not getting paid more. Like the character in Shakespeare in Love said..."It's a mystery!"

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pitythefoolsFeb. 23, 14 8:16 AM

If people can afford to blow $500 a shot to temporarily remove wrinkles the economy must be going gangbusters! Go Obama!

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