The Ever-Elusive Dermatologist Appointment

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The Ever-Elusive Dermatologist Appointment featured image

Have you ever had a sudden rash or worried that a mole was looking irregular, only to be told by your dermatologist’s office that the nearest appointment was two months away? You’re not alone. The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology recently published the results of two California researchers’ study, where they called 851 dermatologists across the country, posing as potential patients with a changing mole, to see how soon the doctor could see them.

The average wait was over a month, with big-city dermatologists requiring as long as a 73-day wait.

We’ve been taught to identify potentially pre-cancerous skin changes, so why are possibly urgent problems being put on hold? The answer might be in the question. “Patients have become more educated about the warning signs, so a lot more people are coming in for skin checks,” Dr. Jack Resneck, assistant professor of dermatology at the University of California and co-author of the study, told MSNBC.

Additionally, Resneck believes that there’s a dermatologist shortage. “A lot of specialties are facing physician shortages. Dermatology is one of the ones at the extreme.”

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