Ridiculous Study of the Week 2: Dermatology and Movies

The dermatologists are ready to play ball.  After years of convincing people that ANY sunshine is evil, and subsequently causing an epidemic in low vitamin D, they are back at it again.  This time they are armed with a study concluding that:

Dermatologic findings of the all-time top 10 American villains are used in film to highlight the dichotomy of good and evil, which may foster a tendency toward prejudice in our society directed at those with skin disease.

Yes, you read that right.  JAMA Dermatology actually published a study where “dermatologic findings for film heroes and villains in mainstream media were identified and compared quantitatively using a χ2 test with α < .05, as well as qualitatively.”  Forget Watson and Crick.  Forget Jonas Salk.  This group found that “six (60%) of the all-time top 10 American film villains have dermatologic findings, including cosmetically significant alopecia (30%), periorbital hyperpigmentation (30%), deep rhytides on the face (20%), multiple facial scars (20%), verruca vulgaris on the face (20%), and rhinophyma (10%). The top 10 villains have a higher incidence of significant dermatologic findings than the top 10 heroes (60% vs 0%; P = .03).”

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I guess when you make so much money you have to find a way to distract people from being too critical?  How? First up, throw the evil sun at them.  If that fails then you create a new prejudice. All we need now is a law to stop any movie from depicting someone who is “integumentary challenged”.  (I made that term up.  Do you like it?)

Before anyone thinks I am too insensitive let me summarize my thoughts on this:

  1. Humans are not perfect and we all have our blemishes.
  2. We all don’t need a personal dermatologist to see us to fix every blemish.
  3. ALL sun is not evil.
  4. This study is ridiculous.
  5. Dermatologist make too much money.
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Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  25 comments for “Ridiculous Study of the Week 2: Dermatology and Movies

  1. Madelyn
    May 25, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    I am a sci-fi fan. I now have a new topic for hallway talk at sci-fi events. I have been sitting here trying to come up with another way I would use this information. Haven’t been successful. There are geniuses who make poor doctors and smart people who make great doctors. My choice of career was not dictated by how hard I worked. It was based on what career I wanted.

  2. Dr Jane Doe
    May 19, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Doug sorry to burst your bubble but most of us do not like doing cosmetics the average dermatologist practices general dermatology and the reason for this is that the cost of goods for cosmetic fillers and neurotoxins have skyrocketed and some offices have close down because they have tried to do mostly cosmetic. And the type of patients that you attract in this kind of practice is not the kind of patients that most of us enjoy. I understand that family practice is an extremely difficult area and I have the upmost respect for you bc some of my best friends are in the field and they do a fantastic job and reimbursements have dramatically affect this field less than ours. I’m am lucky to have fallen in love with dermatology and be able to get in it. I look forward to work everyday bc what I do is very rewarding to me maybe you need a career change.

  3. Doug Farrago
    May 19, 2017 at 10:00 am

    I have been trashing most of the dermatologist trolls’ comments as they come in. Most say the same thing, which is if I was smarter I could have done better in medical school and be them. Interesting, don’t you think? If you want to comment and be respectful then I will post it. If not, I will just continue to laugh at your nonsense and delete it. In other words, you just wasted your time.

  4. Jonathan Ho
    May 19, 2017 at 9:44 am

    This blog is in poor taste. There is prejudice towards patients with skin diseases and all patients with significant dermatoses will tell you so. This study was insightful and possibly highlights one way in which we can be sensitive to subtle suggestions that persons with skin disease are the outsiders. Dermatologic psychology is a growing field and all physicians should learn that unlike many other diseases, skin patients wear their malady for the world to see and judge.
    Your writing style is fairly entertaining but I think the quality of your site will suffer from articles deriding other specialities. I hope you abandon this tabloid-esque style for more meaningful compositions.

  5. Josh
    May 18, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    Don’t be bitter because of your poor performance in medical school. Had you worked harder you could have been a happy dermatologist, not a miserably envious PCP.

    • Doug Farrago
      May 18, 2017 at 10:15 pm

      And this is what the dermatologists truly believe.

  6. Pat
    May 18, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    DMJ, KJB, Dr Jane, et al…

    Let’s get a little honest here: any doc who takes Medicare, Medicaid, Blue-Humana-Aetna-WTF is working for the payer and NOT the patient.

    Do you follow any “core measures?” Do you ever worry about whether the charge was a Level 3 or a Level 4? Will your payment depend on whether you annotated family history, smoking status, or ROS repetitively for the umpteenth time?? Can the gov’t or Big Insurance audit your charts? If yes to any of this, then you are working for the payer, and NOT the patient. However good an individual you are, you are part of a corrupt and dishonest system. Do not take on any airs of selfless nobility because you see Medicare/Medicaid gov’t patients. That only means you make enough to go with the flow, complacent with our downward swirl.

    Who am I? Another guilty fellow traveler, full-time ER doc who’s income is dependent on government and Big Insurance cash and the little games played to get it. Sure, I can rationalize my actions the same as you. And just like you, I paid a lot of dues, have a lot of scars, and have bills to pay. But unlike you, I can call this system what it is.

    Doug and his DPC colleagues are the only ones who can lay claim to practicing truly honest medicine free of the sticky, corrosive corruption of this third-payer mess. So do your work, and proclaim your goodness, but don’t forget who you are really working for.

  7. J L Bridgeman
    May 17, 2017 at 9:05 am

    Have you, the publisher of the late great and much lamented Placebo Journal, become so jaded that you are no longer able to appreciate a tongue-in-cheek article,itself, worthy of inclusion in PJ?

    Hmmm, publishing date April 1 week.

    • Doug Farrago
      May 17, 2017 at 11:33 am

      It just came across the wires. That being said I don’t believe it was a joke. Need more proof.

  8. Robert Lamberts
    May 17, 2017 at 7:58 am

    Primary care envy surfaces again.

    • politovski
      May 17, 2017 at 11:39 am

      if dermatology did their jobs and actually saw real cases and didn’t make a laughing stock of themselves only doing cosmetology, this would not be an issue. but in lieu of that….

      • Robert Lamberts
        May 17, 2017 at 1:08 pm

        You ever see extensive skin cancer surgery? Mohs?
        Not exactly cosmetics.

        • Doug Farrago
          May 17, 2017 at 1:13 pm

          What percentage of dermatologists do Mohs?

          • politovski
            May 17, 2017 at 1:31 pm

            1 derm per city. and how about medical dermatology? 1 derm per city. those that see medicaid? only at university centers. the rest: botox, dermabrasions, collagen, et cetera

      • Allison Linquist
        May 17, 2017 at 11:13 pm

        Doug…Several of us Dermatologists do huge skink cancers, as well as remove large but benign adnexal neoplasms. Come on…seriously. Me thinks you have perhaps swallowed to many bitter pills

        Politovski…You are so very very wrong. I am private Derm solo practice and I still see Medicare and Medicaid,,,and I could book 3X the numbers of cosmetics patients I do, but I do not bc I love my truly sick and patients in need. Melanoma is one the rise, and the only cure is a surgical one by early intervention…You sure you want to keep those haughty words around

        • Doug Farrago
          May 18, 2017 at 6:34 am

          You may be seeing Medicaid and not cranking them thru but that is not the majority. From one of your own: http://www.mdedge.com/edermatologynews/article/106371/practice-management/elephant-room-dermatology

          • DMJ
            May 18, 2017 at 3:00 pm

            I am not a dermatologist, I am a dermatopathologist. It seems to me, from description of your won practice, on your own website –
            see https://authenticmedicine.com/menu-page-2/sample-page/ that you do not accept Medicaid yourself. Or am I wrong?

          • Doug Farrago
            May 18, 2017 at 3:17 pm

            I see all patients. I don’t bill any insurance. It is low cost, direct primary care. $75 month for one person, $125 a month for two, and a family is $150 a month. I give 10% of my care away for free. How about you? I see entire families for $150 a month (I have multiple families with up to 9 people). Cryotherapy is free in my office. How about you? Punch biopsies are free? How about you? Mole removals are free. How about you? Want to keep going?

          • KJB
            May 18, 2017 at 3:42 pm

            So as DMJ pointed out, you don’t take Medicare or Medicaid, but you are hating on others who don’t? In my practice we give discounted care to uninsured and those who have Medicaid since we don’t take that. Since you charge monthly fees, care in your practice is NOT free, by the way. It is to your benefit when patients do NOT come in as you are getting paid anyway. This is how my PCP (DPC) works also. For those in a fee-for-service model, we charge for services rendered. Both models work–different strokes for different folks. But don’t post like some self righteous philanthropist that you are doing a bunch of services for free. You are getting paid–just in a different way.

          • Doug Farrago
            May 18, 2017 at 3:46 pm

            An affordable way….for everyone. I see all patients, idiot. I don’t make $200K off a PA while not in the office. You are grossly overpaid. End of story. I don’t do trolls well. Go away if you don’t like what I wrote. Any more posts like the last will be deleted.

        • politovski
          May 18, 2017 at 4:05 pm

          dr. linquist,
          my apologies. any doctor who sees real patients and tries to provide real medical care is certainly above reproach. however, these comments are not aimed at you. to those who are not serving the public, i think that they should take a good hard look at themselves in the mirror.

      • Dr Jane Doe
        May 18, 2017 at 4:35 pm

        Many of us don’t do cosmetology that’s an aesthetician. I personally practice general dermatology taking melanomas out, putting my psoriasis patients on biological and Mohs surgery on skin cancer patient most of which are VA patients that have served our country. If you guys feel we are useless and don’t see “real cases” than why don’t you guys start seeing dermatology patients instead of texting us pictures and calling us since most doctors have never had even one month of dermatology since it’s not required. Or better yet let Dr Google be your new dermatologist. I resent this physician shaming that is in this article. This should never be done to another physician or a speciality group in public or on paper. We already have enough people against us physician trying to pay off our loans, trying to get insurances to cooperate so patients can get the medications they need, people stealing from our offices and frustrated patients. This energy should be better spent on tackling getting better care to our patients.

        • Doug Farrago
          May 18, 2017 at 5:10 pm

          Who cares what you resent? You couldn’t even give your real name. It is amazing that EVERY dermatologist who responds here and on Facebook never does cosmetology, sees all his/her patients him/herself and does nothing but brain busting cases. No one ever says dermatologists aren’t needed. No one. Here is the problem. You are grossly overpaid just like the cost for school tuition. We need colleges but the cost is absurd. Also, I cannot remember getting someone into a dermatologist (except at university hospitals) in the last ten years. And that is in two states. No one takes new patients. Consults? Please. Instead you let the wealthy well have yearly skin exams to biopsy the hell out of them. So, yeah, you ARE a big part of the problem. There is a healthcare crisis and you guys average $400K a year. No one else wants to say but that is insane. So if this is physician shaming then so be it.

Comments are closed.