We have learned over the years that a new or changing skin lesion, sometimes having one or more of the so-called "ABCDEs" should prompt a patient to consult his/her primary care physician or dermatologist. More than any single physician, the dermatologist is the center of responsibility in diagnosing and establishing treatment for curable, early-stage melanomas. Thus, it behooves the expert dermatologist to assure him/her that he/she has all of the necessary up-to-date diagnostic tools to accurately diagnose malignant melanoma of all types and from all sites.
The best dermatologic diagnosticians need to be completely conversant with the latest knowledge related to clinical, histological, dermoscopic/dermatoscopic, and clinical management of malignant melanoma. Just as the clinical dermatologist needs to understand histopathology, the best dermoscopist needs to be an "expert" clinician and dermato-pathologist. Simultaneously, the dermoscopist must be facile in the language of dermoscopy, which is a language full of new words, descriptions, and systems. Further, a unique and comprehensive glossary (included) helps flatten out what would ordinarily be a steep learning curve related to both dermoscopic technique and terminology.
Many melanoma experts throughout the world have recognized the importance of dermoscopy/dermatoscopy in the realm of dermatologic oncology and dermatology. In view of all of this, a state-of-the-art succinct second edition of Dermoscopy: An Illustrated Self Assessment Guide by Drs. Robert H. Johr and Wilhelm Stolz is a welcome addition to our library. Described by the authors as "short, sweet, and to the point," this book provides a wonderful and seriously useful opportunity to jump into the "heads" of these outstanding dermoscopists and join them in learning about the 218 patients and their dermoscopic images beautifully depicted, learning this important skill all along the way. The book is organized into learning experiences which mimic real life clinical dermatology. These learning experiences flow one into the other through a perfect melding of the teaching skills of the authors.
Doctors Robert H. Johr and Wilhelm Stolz are particularly well suited to teach dermoscopy. They have extensive experience in clinical dermatology, dermatologic oncology, and melanoma. Further, both are exemplary teachers and are outstanding academicians and Professors at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (Dr. Johr) and the University of Munich School of Medicine (Dr. Stolz).
The second edition is new unto itself. It includes numerous new and well-done dermoscopic images, a broad view of the use of dermoscopy in general dermatology, a very well-done look at pediatric dermoscopy, as well as subtypes of melanoma such as desmoplastic melanoma. Other cancers of the skin including Merkel cell and squamous cell carcinoma are also included.
The conciseness and clarity of this wonderful tome is perfect for the busy clinician. The quality of the illustrations is exemplary and it is written in a way that allows for an easy read. This book is superbly done and clearly written by two outstanding academicians who know what teaching is all about. Enjoy the experience!
Robert J. Friedman, MD, MSc (Medicine)
Clinical Professor, NYU School of Medicine
Department of Dermatology