If you want to know what your patients are thinking about, just ask your nearest search engine. If you’re like most people, that likely means pulling up Google on the phone in your pocket. Search engines keep detailed data related to both local and general queries, then use that data to inform features like predictive text. Start typing in “dermatology issues,” for example, and you’ll see an automatically generated list of some common phrases people use to complete that thought. What does this have to do with an interdisciplinary approach to advanced dermatology or dermatological surgery? From Dallas to Sarasota, Masterclasses in Dermatology is bringing together medical professionals who can help to shape the future of patient care by answering that question.

If you try this search engine exercise for yourself, typing in various words a patient is likely to use when seeking help for a medical problem, you’ll find that skin-related issues are just one facet of the dermatology-related search. The phrase “dermatology issues” brings up “dermatology issues on face,” “dermatology issues elderly,” and even “dermatology issues in dogs.”

Masterclasses in Dermatology is not inviting veterinarians to any conferences anytime soon, but the range of search terms is a good reminder that patients are not medical professionals. They don’t know what’s causing a rash, or whether their skin issue is related to age or something else, or whether a spot or bump is actually a sign of something far more than a skin-deep issue. All they know is that they are dealing with something unusual, it’s on their skin , and they want it addressed.

The fact that they are using “dermatology” as a search term at all indicates they know that the problem at least starts on their skin, but any dermatologist will tell you that there’s often more going on beneath the surface.

Searching a bit more broadly—using the terms “skin issues”—reveals an even clearer picture of why dermatologists should make a point of taking an interdisciplinary approach to the field: “skin issues with diabetes,” “skin issues during pregnancy,” “skin issues with lupus,” “skin issues with liver disease,” and “skin issues with arthritis” all make an appearance.

Dermatological surgery-related terms include “skin” paired with modifiers like “removal,” “graft,” “flap,” and “cancer.”

The Masterclasses in Dermatology philosophy is that physicians from multiple disciplines can collaborate, share, and educate each other in an effort to become better doctors who provide better outcomes for their patients. In November 2024, Masterclasses in Psoriatic Disease Plus will be holding a conference in Dallas to cover inflammatory skin diseases, psoriasis, and psoriatic arthritis, geared for dermatology and rheumatology PAs, NPs, medical science liaisons, and thought leader liaisons. In February 2025, our Sarasota conference will invite experts in rheumatology, infectious diseases, inflammatory diseases, gastroenterology, oncology, OBGYN, and more, all with a focus on intersectionality and applications in dermatology.

Remember, your patients may start with a vague search online, but they will ultimately come to you for care, often bringing complicated problems that defy easy categorization into a single medical specialty. Stay ahead of the search curve!