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The new team is coming together, and there are new sheriffs in town at Practical Dermatology® magazine. I just got done hazing a few of them at the winter meetings. It was nice of the new gang to try to get to know how Joel and I have been doing things for the past few years. Several of them come from within the dermatology fraternity, and the others will get up to speed quickly. Executive Director, Business Development, and Group Publisher Sally Cioci Fischer comes to us with more than 25 years of publishing and dermatology experience. Mojo McDaniel has more than 20 years of congress management experience, is a former Galderma employee, and is leading our YoungMD Connect initiative. Heidi W. Moore is coming on board as editor-in-chief with more than 12 years of health care publishing experience, most recently in dermatology. Denise Mann continues to serve as our editor at large, and Elisa Damato remains our director of digital projects.

What struck me was one phrase: “It will be great to work with two icons.” Whoa, Nellie, stop the presses for a second. Icons?

The term iconic has become popular and even hyperbolic, but I think of it as not just recognizing celebrity status but also first name recognition status like Cher, Madonna, and Liberace. A lot of dermatologists are identified by their first names, too many to count, although we have way too many named Mark and forget about those named Neil (they spell it incorrectly anyway). Plus, there’s only one Randy, one Benno, and one Charlie Brown.

In the end, the term iconic becomes a bit ironic when we think about legacy and contributions, because there is no real objective measure of success in what we do. We measure proficiency and credentials more for patient safety than for bragging rights. The number of publications, conference presentations, and leadership positions are not counted for some contest. Nor is the number of successful Mohs cases performed or fillers injected. So, what are the criteria for being an icon? How do we measure the impact we have had on our patients, specialty, or colleagues? What good are all those accomplishments if people think we’re arrogant or close the door behind us instead of cultivating talent and mentoring the next icons?

Over the years, I have found that some of the most accomplished and iconic dermatologists are also good people. As our specialty recovers from the pandemic and lockdowns, we need to identify the new leaders and make sure the torches are being passed correctly to keep dermatology strong.

It sounds like I am getting old, and maybe a little jaded, but I’m allowed after all this time with my foot on the gas. As I write this on my son Kiran’s 5th birthday, I have to take stock of what is important and not continue the damage that endless work brings. Maybe it is better to be an icon at home in front of the children that I waited my whole life to get to know and let the 2.0 versions take the wheel. They do a better job of reading the script and playing by the rules anyway, right? But wait, if that happens, does that make me eligible for icon of the year? I’m just happy I finally won speaker of the day after 82 talks.

So, 2023 will have some new looks, new approaches, and a new feel. Let’s thank Mark and Linda for their work this year running the show and get ready for the Terry and Rob show in March. Let’s be thankful for our dermatology frat and buckle up for a new year.

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