On an elevator, I once noticed a mole on a woman's back that looked very suspicious. Obviously she was not my patient, nor can I perform a lab test at that moment. However, I quietly mentioned that as a dermatologist, I felt she should have it checked by a doctor. Her response was very negative. I felt I was being treated like a pervert or an off-the-street weirdo. So, my question is: When I go out in public, should I shut my mole-dar off? After all, they are not my patients. Or is it the right thing to point out to someone that they may have a dangerous mole and should see a doctor as soon as possible?It must be difficult to see skin this way. When everyone else is just enjoying ogling the fleshly parade, you're zeroing in on the flaws and speculating about cancer and death.
We were just talking about our dermatologist. It seems that every time we go in for a check-up, she finds one little dot to excise and test. I was thinking that if I were she, I'd visualize all those cut-out moles and wonder what a career's worth of moles would look like if they were all piled up into a big mountain... I mean, a mole hill.