Background: Although considered an outpatient specialty, dermatology plays an important role in inpatient medicine. We characterized the activity and structure of dermatology consultation services in select U.S. hospitals.
Methods: In this cross sectional study, a 31-question survey was distributed in person to 32 board-certified dermatologists at the 2017 Society of Dermatology Hospitalists meeting.
Results: Thirty participants completed the survey (yield 93.8%). Most dermatology hospitalists spend 41-52 weeks on service (50%), with 37% spending between 11 and 30 weeks. Coverage was organized by continuous weeks (68%) or months (21%). While on service, hospitalists staffed an average of 4 outpatient clinics per week. Consultative teams also included internal medicine residents (43%), medical students (47%), pediatric residents (10%), and fellows from other specialties (27%). Consultation services saw approximately 3.7 new inpatients and 4.2 follow-up inpatients per day, with daily rounds lasting approximately 2.6 hours.
Conclusions: The results suggest that hospital dermatologists in the U.S. consider inpatient care their niche and devote a majority of their time staffing consults over clinic. The diverse composition of inpatient teams and the number of academic duties held by these physicians suggests they play an important role in medical education.
© 2018 The International Society of Dermatology.