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Watch Your Back: Improving Your Posture and the Ergonomics of Clinic to Prevent Back Pain

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                  By Dr. Cather McKay As dermatologists we spend our days leaning over our patients performing procedures and skin exams. Poor posture and repetitive strain lead to musculoskeletal injury over time.  What causes back and neck pain? Back pain can generally be categorized as nociceptive or neuropathic. Physical stressors or repetitive strain on muscles activate nociceptors, while damage to nerve tissue itself leads to neuropathic pain. How can ergonomic stressors in a clinic day lead to back pain? Dermatologists bend in many directions to see all areas of our patients’ skin. During procedures, we spend long periods of time in cervical flexion looking down at our patients. Improper posture while seated, standing, or bending, leads to muscle strain and pain over time. Weak or tight muscles and poor patient positioning further contribute to these issues. What is “proper posture?” Good posture allows for the least amount of strain on our muscles, joints, and connective tissu

Practical Tips for Reducing EMR Fatigue

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  By Dr. Azeen Sadeghian Research has identified a link between electronic medical records (EMR) and burnout. This is a real issue among dermatologists. Although some providers can pick an EMR more suitable to dermatology in a private practice, others do not have a choice. If a multispecialty system has selected an EMR, you may be using a system not intuitive to dermatology. Below are some practical tips to reduce EMR burden and documentation fatigue.    Shortcuts Create appointments with your EMR representative (whether virtually or in person) to share your top 2 or 3 pressing hang-ups in documentation. Ask them for help creating shortcuts. This may be in the setting of templates, importing certain data automatically, or shortcut phrases.  Ask other providers about shortcuts they take specifically for your EMR. If you are able, possibly have a system-wide way of sharing these tips with one another.    Chart in

WDS Career Corner: Tips for Applying to a Dermatopathology Fellowship

Thanks to Contributors:  Alison Seline, MD; Leah Swanson, MD; Angela Jiang, MD; Emma Johnson, MD; Jane Scribner, MD; Michi Shinohara, MD What should I do if I’m interested in a dermatopathology fellowship? Network! Learn more about the different programs, solidify your career choice, learn about opportunities for research or to increase your exposure to signout, possible away rotations/zoom double scoping Speak with your program director and mentors early; if your program does not have a fellowship, ask that your faculty reach out to their contacts on your behalf Attend ASDP if possible for networking events Attend ASDP “Meet the Program Directors” event Reach out to dermatopathologists within WDS, dermatopathologists are more than happy to provide advice and input! Try to talk to people early as the typical application process begins two years in advance (beginning of PGY-3 year) If your program does not have a dermpath fellowship, seek out research opportunities with programs that d

WDS Young Physician Spotlight: Susan Pei, MD

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Susan Pei, MD is an Assistant Professor at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.    How did you become involved in the WDS and what benefits do you think WDS membership provides for residents/young physicians? I became involved in WDS during residency. Dr. Molly Hinshaw, one of the faculty attendings at my program, would always invite residents, female and male, to attend WDS events and talks, including generously paying for WDS sponsored networking luncheons at the AAD annual meetings. Her enthusiasm and support really helped many residents such as myself realize the great benefits of WDS, such as networking, professional development and career opportunities. I was also fortunate to be able to attend a WDS Forum as a resident through a grant, which allowed me to present a poster. At the WDS Forum I was very impressed by how all the senior members were welcoming and eager to mentor junior members, the camaraderie and energy, and the very specific career and life advice such as

Bias and Dermatology: Critically Evaluating and Actively Addressing Our Biases

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By Dr. Morgan Murphrey Earlier this year, Dr. Susan Taylor and Dr. Jenna Lester published a call for action in JAMA Dermatology, charging dermatologists to reflect on structural racism and how it manifests within our field.1 Bias plays an important role in patient interactions and encounters, as well as structural racism and inequities. Within dermatology, there are important opportunities to identify, address, and combat biases. When people make decisions, they rely on their quick, intuitive reasoning, as well as their slow, deliberate cognitive thinking. Psychologists call this Type 1 and Type 2 processing, respectively. Type 1 thinking can be riddled with bias, often unknowingly. Implicit biases are biases that we are not consciously aware of, which affect our interactions with the world around us. A recent pilot study suggests that dermatologists are susceptible to these biases, and prescribing practices may be influenced by extraneous factors such as

Key Takeaways and Book Review: Atomic Habits by James Clear

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  By Dr. Azeen Sadeghian James Clear is a streamlined popular blogger and has intensively studied habits. He wrote a book to compile all of his personal research on habits. The book, called Atomic Habits, is a best seller on Amazon. Dermatologists have multiple habits that dictate their days. Our lives are filled with habits that can make or break our productivity. Because of this, I was eager to read this book.    This book is an interesting read and written in an easy, clear format. It can be skimmed quickly or it flows well to be read thoroughly if desired. Although habit formation appears obvious, many of us fail at fostering the right habits and we realize willpower alone is not the ticket. This book is full of brief yet practical stories of other individuals and their successes in arranging habits.   I have included some of Mr. Clear’s high yield tips from this book but added some examples in pink that may pertain to Dermatologists, myself included!   Mr. Clear writes about high

Online Reviews of Dermatologists: Friend or Foe?

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  By Dr. Miesha Merati Fifteen years ago, when most people did not own smart phones, the thought of writing an online review of a physician was absurd. Rightfully so, patients prefer compassionate, competent doctors at well-run clinics with a courteous staff. Yet, the instinct to read reviews for guidance intrudes upon the personal aspect of the doctor-patient relationship. Rather than the traditional reliance on suggestions from friends or colleagues, or a doctor’s experience and credentials, many patients prefer quick and accessible reviews. Online platforms like Yelp, ZocDoc, and Vitals allow patients to effortlessly showcase their experience with a doctor for public scrutiny. In some cases, these avenues may influence behavior and practice patterns for many clinicians. A practice’s online image may be the most burdensome liability or favorable asset to a clinic, especially in highly-saturated areas. Management of online presence is time-consuming and utilizes practice resources