Medicolegal Pitfalls, Introduction
In the recent past, dermatology was jokingly referred to as that field of medicine in which “if it is wet, dry it and if it is dry, wet it.” The dermatology of today is radically different. The last 2 decades have led to revolutionary changes in our field. From the advent of dermasurgery to the evolution of medical biologic agents, today’s dermatology bears almost no connection to the dermatology of 50 years ago. Not only has the scope of practice so greatly changed but so too have the various components involved in the “business of dermatology.” Credentialing, certification, and coding remain everyday concerns for all of us. Some of us are asked to serve as expert witnesses; others of us have solely cosmetic practices. Dermatologists often are either employees of other physicians or have business relationships with a variety of entities. Regulations have become an important part of our daily lives. The legal and ethical implications of these seemingly unrelated aspects of dermatology are real.