Joel Schlessinger M.D.

Published works by Joel Schlessinger M.D.

Joel Schlessinger MD addresses the paring down of dermatology

Joel Schlessinger MD addresses the paring down of dermatologyIn Joel Schlessinger MD’s recent article, “The Paring Down of Dermatology,” published in the September 2012 issue of Practical Dermatology, Dr. Schlessinger addresses the move toward a consolidation in the field of dermatology.

Not only have dermatology practices been purchased by larger groups and hospitals, but many family-owned or smaller pharmaceutical companies have been purchased by larger groups. In a field that keeps moving toward consolidation, Joel Schlessinger MD ponders what this will mean for the future of dermatology.

Joel Schlessinger MD predicts the future for the field of dermatology.

“In the short run, the results may not be apparent,” said Joel Schlessinger MD. “It may take years for an equilibrium to materialize after a takeover of this magnitude . . .”

Joel Schlessinger MD says that there will be inevitable bumps in the road. Competition will have short-term benefits, as will “price wars” for certain cosmetic treatments and medications.

Joel Schlessinger MD also predicts that without many small and innovative companies, the potential for drug development could slow down. Although many labs bring out new drugs frequently, these drugs are usually started in the labs of smaller companies. Without the need for extra versions of drugs, the new forms of pharmaceutical enhancement could be deterred.

One of the saddest things Joel Schlessinger MD predicts is the change in culture of the dermatology field.

“We are a collegial specialty, used to meeting and greeting CEOs of major companies when we attend the American Academy of Dermatology meeting,” he said. “If the corporate structure becomes so byzantine that it is nearly impossible to know who does what at a company or the proper channel to consider if change is needed, that opportunity is lost.”

Do you think this merging of practices and companies in the field of dermatology is a good or a bad thing? Tell us more about your thoughts in the comments.

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