Sunday, 2 September 2007

Easier to get a Botox appointment than an evaluation for possibly precancerous moles

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According to a study in The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, patients seeking to have a potentially cancerous mole evaluated by a dermatologist have to wait longer than those seeking Botox treatments for wrinkles.

The researchers report that dermatologists in 12 cities offered a typical waiting time of eight days for a patient seeking Botox for wrinkles, compared with a typical wait of 26 days for a patient requesting an evaluation of a changing mole.

The lead author, Dr. Jack. S. Resneck, Jr., says, "We need to look further and figure out what is leading to shorter wait times for cosmetic patients." This study did not examine the causes.

One explanation, according to The New York Times article covering the study, could be that the demand for medical dermatologists outstrips the supply. Other dermatologists quoted in the article said that financial incentives plus obstacles in receiving payment from insurance companies might have a role in varying wait times.

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