Interview with Terrance A. Cronin Jr, MD
President, American Academy of Dermatology
Voluntary Assistant Professor
Frost Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery
Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami
In this episode of Under Your Skin, host Dr Nicholas Brownstone is joined by Dr Terrence A. Cronin Jr, the president of the American Academy of Dermatology for the 2023-2024 term, to discuss the impact of social media on dermatology, strategies to avoid burnout, and one of the most pressing challenges facing dermatologists today—physician reimbursement.
Social media's influence on dermatology
One significant topic discussed in the episode is the influence of social media on the field of dermatology. Dr Cronin expresses concern about individuals presenting themselves as skin experts without the necessary background or education, spreading misinformation through platforms like TikTok and Instagram. To counter this, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has initiated the "Your Dermatologist Knows" program, which features ambassadors who actively address public concerns on AAD social media sites with scientifically studied and professional responses. The goal is to combat misinformation and ensure accurate information reaches the public.
Additionally, Dr Cronin cautions dermatologists who engage with social media regarding maintaining their professional standing, noting that involvement in social media may be perceived as unprofessional or lead to the inadvertent sharing of information that could be used against dermatologists in their professional future.
Combating burnout in dermatology
Dr Cronin emphasizes the importance of dermatologists finding outlets beyond their daily work to prevent burnout. Given that dermatologists are visual learners who excel at recognizing patterns, he suggests engaging in activities slightly outside the norm. His recommendations include exploring artistic outlets such as music or creative writing. These activities can serve to stretch creativity and reengage the part of the brain worn down by day-to-day work.
The biggest challenge facing dermatology today
The central issue highlighted in the episode is the broader challenge facing dermatology and the medical profession in general. Dr Cronin points out that physicians, including dermatologists, are grappling with inflation and physician reimbursement cuts imposed by the government. Physicians are notably the only group within the medical-industrial complex not receiving an inflationary update from the federal government. As inflation rises, hospitals, nursing homes, and inpatient and outpatient facilities receive increased payments, creating a financial gap that physicians struggle to bridge.
The episode concludes with a call to action, urging physicians and patients alike to reach out to their congressmen and advocate for change. AAD members can visit https://takeaction.aad.org/ to easily contact their congressmen and can also advocate on social media with the hashtag #fixmedicarenow to add their voices to this vital call for action.