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Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Specialty

Dermatology

Advisor

Nancy Reid, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this article is to identify if teledermatology is a viable approach compared to traditional in-office dermatology visits for effective and increased access to dermatologic care in underserved populations and within resource limited hospitals.

Method: A literature search was conducted with search terms teledermatology, underserved, dermatology, and hospital. Thirteen pertinent articles were retrieved that will serve as the basis for this clinical review.

Results: While recent literature has shown teledermatology may increase access to dermatology providers and improve treatment of cutaneous diseases in under-resourced health centers, further studies are needed to explore the benefits and challenges when implementing teledermatology in wider practice settings.

Conclusion: Dermatological issues are a common chief complaint many primary care providers encounter on a daily basis. While some issues are benign, others require a second glance by dermatology providers to rule out worrisome pathologies. Given the shortage of dermatology providers in the United States, many patients in underserved populations and resource-limited hospitals wait weeks or months to be seen. Use of teledermatology combats the shortage of dermatology providers by providing access to patients who are unable to receive dermatological care in a timely, efficient, and cost effective manner.

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