Clinical Pearls for Providers Treating HS

Opinion
Video

Gina Mangin, MPAS, PA-C, shares take-home pearls with fellow healthcare providers, highlighting the importance of listening to the patient.

Gina Mangin, MPAS, PA-C: The clinical pearl that I’d love to share with my colleagues about treating patients with HS [hidradenitis suppurativa]—and I’ll be honest with you, I’m borrowing this from a colleague who shared this at the podium at a recent conference—is listen to your patients. Take the time to sit down in the exam room and just listen to your patient. These patients have been experiencing this disease on average for 7 to 10 years without having any relief of their symptoms. There are times our patients just need to vent, and they need a listening ear. If you can offer that listening ear to your patient, you’re going to build trust and that’s going to lead to a long-term relationship and, in the end, better patient care.

It’s such an exciting time to be practicing dermatology because with some of these challenging diagnoses that we take care of on a daily basis, I feel now in 2023 that we’re actually able to prescribe medications that can help our patients. As medical professionals, I feel that all of us went into medicine to help patients, and when we have a diagnosis where we’re helping them just a little bit but they’re not completely resolved, we feel like failures inside because that’s our goal. We want to help patients and we want to get them better. Now that we’re in the era of these biologics and in the era of this research that’s going into some of the most challenging diagnoses—like HS, alopecia areata, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and vitiligo—we’re finally getting tools in our toolbox that are effective but also safe. It’s just such an exciting time to be practicing dermatology and having the ability to help these patients.

Transcript edited for clarity

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