Clinical Edge

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Public Perception of Ethical Issues in Dermatology

Dermatolog Surg; ePub 2018 Jul 6; Martin, et al

A 2017 New York Times article raises the concern of identifying quality care and choosing the “right provider,” one who successfully balances the various incentives affecting skin cancer management including appropriate usage of advanced practice providers (APPs). This according to a recent study that sought to characterize issues raised by the comments about the article, discuss strategies to address these concerns, and encourage reflection on ethics in dermatologic care. A qualitative analysis was performed on the 309 comments on the NYT article. General themes were identified, resulting in the inclusion of 222 comments. These comments were reviewed and characterized by the type of commenter, his or her stance on health care, and what issues they raised. Researchers found:

  • Providers interested in “profit over patient” was the most common theme.
  • This was followed by mistrust of APPs, health care system interested in “profit over patient,” inadequate supervision by advanced practice providers (APPs), finding the “right” provider, support for coordinated APP and physician care, support for APP credentials, and finally, inappropriate elderly care.


Martin E, Huang WW, Strowd LC, Hinkel VS, Feldman SR, Williford PM. Public perception of ethical issues in dermatology: Evidenced by New York Times commenters. [Published online ahead of print July 6, 2018]. Dermatolog Surg. doi:10.1097/DSS.0000000000001585.