A couple years ago a veteran dermatologist gave me advice that seems almost scandalous today.
“When you’re seeing someone who is embarassed about their skin condition, spend time really sitting with them. They may feel like they’re contaminated, stigmatized, ostracized or worse by the fact of how their skin appears. Don’t add to that. Examine them – closely. Without gloves if you can.”
The sanctuary at my synagogue seats 1800 people. I have seen it filled to capacity twice, and spoke to the capacity crowd both times. The first was at the funeral for my cousin, Dr. Richard Harris, in 2001, when I shared the story of the little black doctor’s bag he gifted me when I started medical school. The second was November 3, 2018, when a grief-stricken community piled into the pews to mourn the eleven martyrs from the Tree of Life shooting.