Medical Linguistics and Anatomy

Discussion Board and Reply to other student response

Imagine that you are a dermatologist. You are in line at the supermarket and notice the person in front of you has a large black growth on their arm. Based on its appearance, you suspect that it may be a melanoma. Should you say something to the person? Given that this person is not your patient, what are your legal and ethical responsibilities? If you do choose to say something, how do you think your comment will be received? Will the person be grateful for your advice or offended? Would your actions change if the lesion was in a location that would be less obvious to the patient, like on the back of the neck?

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Please include the name of the person or question to which you are replying in the subject line. For example, “Tom’s response to Susan’s comment.”


I personally would just start about a conversation with them about something else. Then slowly saying that i was a dermatologist and that i noticed the spot on their arm. I then would tell them that they might want to get it checked out if they are not already doing so. If the person gets offended i then would then tell them i was sorry and go about my business. However if they are grateful about me telling them i then would give them my card and have them make an appointment with me. My actions would be the same if it were in a different location.   

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