Inpatient Dermatology, Introduction
This issue of Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery is dedicated to inpatient dermatology. During the past decade, the advent of managed care has drastically reduced the availability of inpatient beds for patients with dermatologic disease so that currently, most hospitalized patients requiring dermatologic care are seen by a consulting dermatologist. In addition, patients admitted to the hospital are generally much sicker than they were in the past. These changes have not only led to an increase in the responsibilities of the dermatologist providing consultation on hospitalized patients with skin disease, but they have also shifted some of the care of said patients to nondermatologist physicians and ancillary personnel unskilled in the unique requirements of patients with severe skin disease. At academic centers, the inpatient dermatology consultation service is typically supervised in rotating “monthly shifts” by dermatology faculty as part of his or her academic appointment to the institution. In the private practice sector, the dermatologist provides inpatient consultative services at the end of a busy and often tiring work day.