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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 53 Table of Contents     


Former Director-Professor of Dermato-Venereology, Calicut Medical College, Past National President, IADVL, Calicut - 673 02, Kerala, India

Date of Web Publication26-Nov-2010

Correspondence Address:
Gopinathan Thekkepat
Former Director-Professor of Dermato-Venereology, Calicut Medical College, Past National President, IADVL, Calicut - 673 02, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2229-5178.73268

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How to cite this article:
Thekkepat G. Reminiscences. Indian Dermatol Online J 2010;1:53

How to cite this URL:
Thekkepat G. Reminiscences. Indian Dermatol Online J [serial online] 2010 [cited 2021 Jan 19];1:53. Available from: https://www.idoj.in/text.asp?2010/1/1/53/73268

"I am glad to write a few words in this inaugural issue of the Indian Dermatology Online Journal. I am especially happy on this occasion because I was one of the main persons who took initiative in implementing the idea of starting an online journal as there was a need for better group-specific communication among the growing number of young practicing dermatologists in India. I am sure this journal will fulfill the aims we had hoped to achieve by this venture.

The specialty of dermato-venereology was not so attractive, and there were few aspirants wanting to specialize in this field more than 50 years ago, when I joined this specialty as a student. Dermatology was then considered to be the "tail end" of medicine. The situation has changed dramatically now. There is a clamor to get into this specialty all over India. One of the reasons is that the subject is now taught in medical colleges by qualified trained specialists in the subject, which has made it easier for the undergraduates to understand this subject.

The subject itself has broadened to include subspecialties like pediatric dermatology; dermatopathology; trichology; other emerging fields; and, most importantly, dermatological surgery, including cosmetology, which seems to have caught the attention and imagination of medical graduates. Many diseases that were previously difficult to diagnose and to treat and therefore considered 'incurable' can now be fairly quickly diagnosed and treated, thanks to the advent of newer diagnostic techniques and the long array of medicines, including steroids, antibiotics, antihistamines, etc., given topically and systemically. The wide variety of topical steroids and other ointments have enriched the therapeutic armamentarium.

Research studies all over the world have elucidated the etiopathogenesis of many diseases previously considered a jumble of Latin words. In some parts of India, venereal diseases [sexually transmitted infections, as they are called now] are still as widely prevalent as before, while in other parts, the incidence has come down. As a result, many undergraduate and postgraduate students do not get a regular opportunity to study diseases such as syphilis, granuloma venereum, etc. Dermato-venereologists should more intensely study AIDS/ HIV because a significant number of these cases go to a dermatologist first, with skin lesions for treatment. The incidence of leprosy also has come down in many parts of the country. It still poses a challenge to diagnose and treat in some states in the country. We have to wait and see if this dreaded disease will make resurgence in a resistant or other form or we will finally "eradicate" leprosy from our midst. Dermato-venereology is an offspring of medicine rather than surgery, according to me. The postgraduate student has to have fundamental and basic knowledge of medical dermatology and sexually transmitted infections and of their clinical practice.

Surgical dermatology is an offshoot of medical dermatology. For this very reason, we should see that future specialists in dermatology and sexually transmitted infections undergo special academic structured training in the surgical aspects of the specialty after completion of their course leading to MD in the subject. In other words, dermatological surgery should assume the status of a "super-specialty." The present-day teachers and dermato-surgeons should work to achieve this goal.

Finally, in most states of India, dermatology, venereology and leprology are taught as a combined specialty because these branches are so closely connected. The past few decades have shown that this combined status has helped the overall development of this broad-based specialty in India."


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