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Letter from a patient

"...I was very much impressed with my last visit to you and your approach to the Melanoma puzzle - the total immersion photography and your Melanoma Risk Self- Assessment Test. You convinced me that I should have an annual skin scan because of my risk for melanoma...."

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BulletAbout Rhett Drugge, M.D.

BulletInternet Milestones

BulletCurent Position


BulletCertification, Licences and Affiliations

BulletResearch and Publications


Rhett Drugge, M.D.

7/92 - Present
Remote Access Dermatology Research.
Member of the American Academy of Dermatology Telemedicine Interest Group and the President's Special Committee on Technology.
Founder, The Internet Dermatology Society.
Founder and Chief Editor, Global Dermatology Grand Rounds, an Internet based forum for exchange of challenging dermatology cases.
Telemedicine Editor, Dermatology Online Journal.

May, 1993 - initiated remote access service to St. Joseph Family Medicine Center for the purpose of enhancing family practice residency training.
December, 1994 - founded Global Dermatology Grand Rounds, an Internet-based high-level teledermatology application.
February, 1995 - founded the Internet Dermatology Society.
August, 1995 - produced the web site for the Society for Investigative Dermatology.
September, 1995 - demonstrated the use of the web as an organizing structure for off-line dermatology lectures to primary care physicians using materials from the Electronic Textbook of Dermatology.
July, 2000 - submitted a patent on Total Immersion Photography for Skin Disease Documentation.

11/89 - 3/90
Research associate, University of Michigan, Immunoprecipitation of phosphotyrosinated substrates of epidermal growth factor receptor. Sponsor: J.T. Elder, M.D. Ph.D.

10/85 - 9/86
Research associate, New York Medical College, part-time from October to May studying immunofluorescent staining and cytolytic assays with lymphokine-activated natural killer (LANK) cells; full-time, from June to September, performing c-DNA library screening for the nucleotide sequence of perforin-1, a component of LANK cell granules. Sponsor: E.R. Podack, M.D.

7/85 - 8/85
Summer student fellowship, New York Medical College, studying the influence of the cyclosporin A binding protein, cyclophilin, on mitogen stimulated human peripheral blood lymphocytes. Co-sponsors: J.W. Chiao, Ph.D. and R.E. Handschumacher, Ph.D.

11/82 - 8/84
Research assistant, Yale University School of Medicine, isolation and purification of cyclophilin, the putative receptor for cyclosporin A. Cyclosporin A metabolite studies. Sponsor: R.E. Handschumacher, Ph.D.

Presentations and Publications

Latest Publication: J Am Acad Dermatol 1999 Nov;41(5 Pt 1):693-702

Reliability and accuracy of dermatologists' clinic-based and digital image consultations.

Whited JD, Hall RP, Simel DL, Foy ME, Stechuchak KM, Drugge RJ, Grichnik JM, Myers SA, Horner RD

Institute for Clinical and Epidemiologic Research, Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27705, USA.

BACKGROUND: Telemedicine technology holds great promise for dermatologic health care delivery. However, the clinical outcomes of digital image consultations (teledermatology) must be compared with traditional clinic-based consultations. OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to assess and compare the reliability and accuracy of dermatologists' diagnoses and management recommendations for clinic-based and digital image consultations. METHODS: One hundred sixty-eight lesions found among 129 patients were independently examined by 2 clinic-based dermatologists and 3 different digital image dermatologist consultants. The reliability and accuracy of the examiners' diagnoses and the reliability of their management recommendations were compared. RESULTS: Proportion agreement among clinic-based examiners for their single most likely diagnosis was 0. 54 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.46-0.61) and was 0.92 (95% CI, 0. 88-0.96) when ratings included differential diagnoses. Digital image consultants provided diagnoses that were comparably reliable to the clinic-based examiners. Agreement on management recommendations was variable. Digital image and clinic-based consultants displayed similar diagnostic accuracy. CONCLUSION: Digital image consultations result in reliable and accurate diagnostic outcomes when compared with traditional clinic-based consultations.

J D Whited, B J Mills, R P Hall, R J Drugge, J M Grichnik and D L Simel

A pilot trial of digital imaging in skin cancer, Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, April 1998.

A. Bittorf, N.C. Krejci-Papa, T. Ray, A. Huntley, D.C. Collison, R. Drugge, D. Hiller, M. Bergmann, T.L. Diepgen1, Applications of the WWW: A Multicentered Dermatologic Image Database, poster presentation, 3rd WWW Conference, May 1995.

Chan, LS, Fine, JD, Briggaman, RA, Woodley, DT, Hammerberg, C, Drugge, RJ, Cooper KD, Identification and partial characterization of a novel 105-kDalton lower lamina lucida autoantigen associated with a novel immune- mediated subepidermal blistering disease.: J Invest Dermatol (1993 Sep) 101(3):262-7

Elder, JT, Pepinsky, RB, Drugge, RJ, Voorhees, JJ, Wallner, B, Increased expression of lipocortin I mRNA, but not lipocortin I protein, in psoriasis. poster presentation, Society of Investigative Dermatology, May 1990.

Drugge, RJ, Handschumacher, RE, Cyclosporine: mechanism of action. Transplantation Proc., Vol. XX, No. 2, Suppl 2: 301, 1988.

Handschumacher, RE, Harding, MW, Rice, J, Drugge, RJ, Speicher, DW, Cyclophilin: a specific cytosolic binding protein for cyclosporin A. Science, 226: 544, 1984.

Internet Web-based publications (currently active)

Electronic Textbook of Dermatology, R.J. Drugge, Founding Editor and Publisher, 1995-present.

Dermatology Online Journal, Internet Editor, R.J. Drugge, 1996-present