President of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Responds to Recent New York Times Article on the Rise of Patient Costs for Medical Specialists

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After a report from the New York Times singled out dermatology as a medical specialty that benefits from high patient costs, Dr. Mitchel Goldman of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery responded to the article’s claims.

Dr. Mitchel Goldman

One in five Americans develops skin cancer over their lifetime. It is important to encourage patients to seek appropriate treatment.

In a recent article in the New York Times about the rise in patient costs for medical specialists, dermatologists were singled out as physicians who charged a high amount for treatments due to the specialized nature of their field. The article depicts a patient who underwent surgical treatment for skin cancer from a dermatologist and is now unsatisfied with the cost of the treatment, which includes costs from an anesthesiologist and plastic surgeon who closed the wound. Dr. Mitchel Goldman, president of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery and medical director of Cosmetic Laser Dermatology in San Diego, was disappointed in the way that the article portrayed skin cancer patients and treatment.

“The New York Times article was a disappointing representation of skin cancer surgery patients -- the overwhelming majority of whom are satisfied with their outcomes, treatment options, care, and physician expertise and communication,” stated Dr. Goldman.

Dermatologists are specially trained and experienced to handle conditions such as skin cancer. When faced with a patient who has been diagnosed with skin cancer, the dermatologist makes the appropriate treatment recommendation based on the needs of the patient. Oftentimes, collaboration with other medical professionals is necessary for the well being of the patient.

“While dermatologic surgeons perform skin cancer removal and reconstruction procedures more often than other specialists, sometimes a multi-physician approach is recommended because of patient needs or expectation. With research and clinical breakthroughs, we are able to offer many treatment options in an office-based setting to achieve the highest cure rates efficiently,” explained Dr. Goldman.

Skin cancer is caused by overexposure to the sun and start off as pre-cancerous lesions. Patients who notice any abnormalities on their skin or have extensive sun damage should seek medical attention from their board-certified dermatologist to get screened for skin cancer. At Cosmetic Laser Dermatology in San Diego, Dr. Goldman advises his patients to take preventative measures in order to protect their skin or undergo photodynamic therapy treatment in order to remove sun damage and pre-cancerous lesions.

“One in five Americans develops skin cancer over their lifetime. It is important to encourage patients to seek appropriate treatment, and we hope future coverage in The Times helps encourage this as well,” said Dr. Goldman.

Mitchel P. Goldman, MD, is a board certified dermatologist and Diplomate of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery with a distinctive insight into the performance of both aesthetic and medically necessary dermatologic treatments. As incoming president of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery and director of the landmark Goldman, Butterwick, Fitzpatrick, Groff & Fabi: Cosmetic Laser Dermatology center in San Diego, Dr. Goldman strives to produce excellent patient care while utilizing the most advanced non-surgical and minimally invasive treatments available.

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