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Building Patient Rapport, Improving Tolerance for Retinoids, and More

Building Patient Rapport, Improving Tolerance for Retinoids, and More

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Tip 1: Build Better Patient Rapport  

Whenever I learn about a unique aspect of a patient’s social history during our visits, I make a point of jotting it down in their chart so I can discuss those topics during follow-up visits. Anything that has personal meaning to your patients is worth noting—occupation/vocation; names/ages/activities of children/grandchildren/spouse/significant others; hobbies they enjoy; fun travels they have taken; names of their pets; and favorite sports teams. I have found that this seemingly small effort can be profoundly impactful in the eyes of our patients and leads to a lasting rapport in our ongoing doctor-patient relationship.

David A. Wetter, MD

Rochester, MN

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Tip 2: Improve Retinoid Tolerability

When instituting retinoids, have patients wait 10 minutes between washing their face and applying a retinoid to increase tolerability. I start them at three times per week for 2 weeks and advance as tolerated. I knock them back to this interval when I increase their retinoid potency as well.

Tina Kinsley, MD  

Fort Wayne, IN

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Tip 3: Use White Paper Tape for Surgery

I use white paper tape to tape down hair for scalp/face/ear excisions. The white color makes it easy to see dark sutures and keeps the flyaway hair to a minimum, and it’s super easy to remove after the procedure.

Jane Chew, MD 

Columbia, MD

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Tip 4: Put Treatment Costs in Perspective

We often talk to our dermatology patients about the cost of treatment, but not often enough about the cost of not treating. For instance, if you don’t treat acne promptly and aggressively enough, one can develop dyspigmentation and scarring which can be very expensive, very painful, and very difficult to completely fix. Similarly, if you don’t treat psoriasis aggressively enough, you may have a higher risk of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular problems, psoriatic arthritis, and earlier death.

Benjamin Barankin, MD 

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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