The practice of dermatology is based upon a visual approach to clinical disease, with the development of an appreciation of recurrent patterns and images. The entire spectrum of our discipline, from the generation of clinicopathologic differential diagnoses to the orientation of rotational flaps, relies upon imagery. As a result, visualization also plays a critical role in how we integrate new information into pre-existing frameworks that serve as the hard drives of our medical memory.
In the textbook Dermatology there is a strong emphasis on visual learning. This commitment is reflected in the use of schematic diagrams to convey the principles of skin biology as well as cutaneous surgery, and the inclusion of algorithms, which provide a logical as well as practical approach to commonly encountered clinical problems. The majority of the basic science is integrated throughout the book and appears as introductory chapters to the various sections. All illustrations and graphics are in color and photomicrographs demonstrating key histologic findings are found interspersed within the clinical chapters. These chapters also contain tables that attempt to provide weighted differential diagnoses and a ‘ladder’ approach to therapeutic interventions. Lastly, color-coding of sections allows easy and rapid access to required information.
The ultimate goal of Dermatology is for it to never make its way to the bookshelf because it is being used on a weekly, or perhaps even daily, basis. Hopefully, this book will function as a colleague, albeit a non-verbal one, who is easily approachable and possesses the necessary expertise to provide succinct, up-to-date information that is both precise and practical. Realizing this goal required the time and energy of our contributors who have unselfishly shared their knowledge and experience with literally thousands of patients from around the world, and we thank them.