Travels with Myself (and another)

Brian T. Maurer Abstract: After four decades of medical practice, a primary care clinician finds himself cast in the role of a patient in need of dermatological surgery for skin cancer from a former colleague he had never met face to face until the day of the surgical encounter. The night before the surgery I plowed through the Delia Owens novel “Where the Crawdads Sing.”  I hadn’t anticipated the ending and fitfully drifted in and out of sleep for a couple of hours, finally succumbing to exhaustion and the warmth of the bed.  Nonetheless, my eyes opened at 5:00 AM.  I got up to do my morning exercise routine, showered, … Continue reading

Providing Hats and Sun Safe Information to Galveston’s Homeless 

Practicing Safe Sun in Galveston Title: Providing Hats and Sun Safe Information to Galveston’s Homeless Andrea Francis BS1, Richard F. Wagner Jr MD21. The University of Texas Medical Branch, School of Medicine2. The University of Texas Medical Branch, Department of Dermatology Corresponding author:Andrea Francis BSEmail: asfranci@utmb.e Keywords: Sun safety, Sun Protection, Homeless Health, Dermatology. INTRODUCTIONGalveston, Texas has a higher rate of homelessness than most U.S. and other Texas cities. The most recent point-of-time survey identified 326 homeless in Galveston during January 2020. The homeless population in subtropical Galveston is at increased risk for facial skin cancer due to daily unprotected outdoor exposure to sunlight. This Quality Improvement Project (QIP) was … Continue reading

The name — of it — is “Autumn”

The name — of it — is “Autumn” —The hue — of it — is Blood —An Artery — upon the Hill —A Vein — along the Road — Great Globules — in the Alleys —And Oh, the Shower of Stain —When Winds — upset the Basin —And spill the Scarlet Rain — It sprinkles Bonnets — far below —It gathers ruddy Pools —Then — eddies like a Rose — away —Upon Vermilion Wheels — Photos channeling Emily Dickinson taken on the weekend of October 8 – 9, 2002 in Williamstown, MA.

Let’s Spill the Cafè-au-lait

Elise D. Machrone*University of Washington, Seattle, WA ______________________________________________________________________________ ABSTRACT Do you love having a cafè-au-lait to start your day? While so many of us indulge in the creamy mixture of milk and espresso, the general public is unaware of the de-caffeinated, dermatological connotations of this word. This article will share my personal experience with cafè-au-lait spots and reveal the complexities of this skin condition that can indicate a much more serious disease called neurofibromatosis. So, let’s remove the caffeine —for now— and talk about skin. ______________________________________________________________________________ When I was ten years old my observant pediatrician noticed freckles in one of my armpits suddenly making an appearance to complement my previously … Continue reading

The Evening Has Arrived

AQUI NO HAY VIEJOS SOLO NOS LLEGO LA TARDE The You Tube video of this poem is worth watching. This moving poem for elderly adults is recited by the vivacious 102-year-old lady: María Cristina Camilo. Dominican actress and broadcaster (b. 12.25.1918) Translated from the Spanish by Brian Maurer Here there are no old ones;It’s only that the evening has arrived for us:An evening weighted with experience—Experience to offer advice.Here there are no old ones;It’s only that the evening has arrived for us.Old is the sea,And it rises up like a giant;Old is the sun,And it warms us.Old is the moon,And it enlightens us;Old is the earth,And it gives us life.Love … Continue reading

Vaseline, Slugging and TikTok Docs

Videntium cave Vaseline, Slugging and TikTok Docs Makayla Power David J. Elpern Keywords, Vaseline, Aquaphor, CeraVe, social media, TikToc, xerosis, social influencers For 150 years, people been coating their faces and other body surfaces with Vaseline®, the ubiquitous, cheap, commonplace product that was awarded Patent No. 127,568, on June 4, 1872.1  It is such a useful product that,  tongue-in-cheek, we call it Vitamin V. In a parallel universe, great masses of people are hearing about expanded, anecdotal uses for Vaseline®. One, in particular, “slugging,” is being plugged on the video-focused social networking service TikTok.  Launched in 2017, TikTok hosts a variety of short-form user-videos for iOS and Android devices in … Continue reading

Functional Dermatological Symptoms: Hiding in plain sight

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. – Hamlet (1.5.167-8) By David J. Elpern, M.D.The Skin Clinic 12 Meadow Street, Williamstown, MA Keywords: medically unexplained symptoms, medically unexplained dermatological symptoms, MUDS, functional symptoms, dermatology All dermatologists see patients with complaints that defy definitive medical diagnosis.  They consult us with hopes for a conclusive diagnosis and treatment, or even just for someone to listen to their symptoms with a supportive ear. Some of our patients have baffling, unexplained symptoms often related to cutaneous pain, pruritus, unexplained skin sensations or excoriations.   These patients frequently have other symptoms: headaches, chest pain, gastrointestinal disorders, … Continue reading

Cancel Me

By Arthur Lazarus, MD, MBA* Cancel me Go ahead Cancel meAcademics despise my remarksMisinterpreted just like Karl Marx Cancel meGo aheadCancel meCall me Republican, call me DemocratRegister me a scientific zealot Cancel me Go ahead Cancel me My intention was to start a debateWhat resulted were claims of hate Cancel me Go ahead Cancel meMy comments (out of context) appeared to condemnApparently, I’ve lost the right to say them Cancel me Go ahead Cancel meYou’ve won the satisfactionOf demanding a retraction (lest I face sanction) Cancel me Go ahead Cancel meCertainly, you’ve seen my flawsAm I not allowed to have a cause? Cancel me Go ahead Cancel meMy ideas were … Continue reading

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