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Authors > Jean L. Bolognia, MD

Dermatology provides the cake, while your teachers and clinical experiences add the icing,” – Jean L. Bolognia, MD

About Dermatology

I wanted the book to provide a logical and practical approach to dermatology. In a sense, Dermatology provides the cake, while your teachers and clinical experiences add the icing.  Other textbooks may give you the whole cake plus the icing, but those texts become so huge that it’s almost impossible to get through them on a yearly or every other year basis. So the hope with Dermatology is that residents can read the whole book in a year and clinicians can easily access information while seeing patients.  We also included “Key features” throughout the book so early on in your career, you can master one or two key features per disease, providing a sense of accomplishment. During medical school and internship, you learn about hundreds of medical disorders but you only learn about 20, or at most 30, skin diseases.  However, there are over a thousand dermatologic diseases.  This can be simply overwhelming so it is very important to have a solid framework upon which to build new knowledge.

New Schematics

We try very hard to give the reader enough basic science to understand, for example, new drugs and their mechanisms of action, as well as new molecular techniques. Without that background information, modern advances would just be memorized rather than understood. However, we don’t confuse readers with a long litany of exceptions and unnecessary details. We use schematics such that you look at the schematic first, then you read the text, allowing for an overall visual image. The schematics allow complex processes to become much easier to understand.

Explaining Relationships

For the second edition, we spent a lot of time on tables. We wanted the practicing physician, who oftentimes during a busy clinic has literally less than a minute to access information regarding less common entities in the differential diagnosis, to be able to obtain up-to-date information easily. For this third edition, we increased the number of schematics and clinicopathologic correlations – we now have the clinical photographs side-by-side with the histologic photomicrographs. This way the reader can better understand why a lesion or rash looks the way it does as well as appreciate important histologic features. In addition, there are almost 1500 new figures in the book.


Jean L. Bolognia, MD, is a Professor of Dermatology at Yale University, School of Medicine. She has served as President of the Medical Dermatology Society and the Women’s Dermatologic Society as well as Vice-President of the Society of Investigative Dermatology, the International Society of Dermatology and American Dermatological Association. Jean was elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Dermatology, the International League of Dermatological Societies and the American Board of Dermatology, where she is incoming Vice-President.

Dr. Bolognia was the major driving force behind the two-volume reference Dermatology, currently in its 3rd edition. She also was an associate editor of two editions of Dermatological Signs of Internal Disease.

Related Authors: Joseph L. Jorizzo, MD; Julie V. Schaffer, MD