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The Daily "Grind" and its Importance to Human Life - by Mark A. Hurt, MD


Mark A. Hurt MD

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This is my first blog post for DermpathPRO, and I want it to begin on a positive note.

Many fellow dermatopathologists around the world will likely read this blog, so here is a tribute to them: thank you for the work you do every day -- for your intellects -- for your productivity -- for your innovation -- for your dedication to the discipline.

Dermatopathologists are unsung heroes of medicine; they diagnose thousands of cancers throughout the world every day, as well as thousands of inflammatory diseases, thus improving -- or attempting to improve -- the lives of those affected people.

Just think of the contrast from 1912 to 2012. Dermatology was then a real discipline, but dermatopathology was in its infancy. One need only to examine textbooks of that earlier era to understand fully the impact of proper diagnosis and treatment.

Yet, dermatopathologists practice mostly in the background, unseen from the public. It isn't glamorous; rather, it is difficult -- requiring one's full attention, focus, and concentration, often requiring very long hours of work. Even with this, one will make mistakes -- often a good number of them -- before he or she ever considers retirement.

So, the daily "grind" is the life blood of a dermatopathologist; it is the source of all research efforts (the effect of clinicopathological correlation), and it hones one's diagnostic skills to a razor-sharp edge.

Let us celebrate the daily “grind” and the good it provides for everyone with serious interests in the field of dermatopathology.

Cheers!
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Dr. Phillip McKee

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Hi Mark, to continue the positive theme let me recount a wonderful experience I had at BWH. A middle-aged lady had been seen at another hospital for an anal tumor and she was sent to BWH for treatment. the GI service were not convinced that she had cancer and sent her slides to me. The lesion was a giant trichoepithelioma (trichoblastoma) and completely benign. Incidently she had had the lesion for 20 years growing very slowly. Some weeks later I entered my secretary's office and there was a huge vase of the most beautiful flowers sitting there. They were for me and the patient was sitting waiting to talk with me. She was very emotional and happy because of my"intervention" preserving her anal region. The oncoogist told her of my involvement. So sometimes we are the "sung" heroes!!
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