- For several years health funds in Israel have allowed patients to see dermatologists, gynecologists, orthopedic surgeons and ENT specialists without being referred by their primary care physician. There is heated debate about whether this practice is justified and if it is cost effective. Is it better medicine for the patient? What are the roles of the primary care physician and of the primary dermatologist in the care of skin diseases? What do patients want? We examined the practices of 4 dermatology clinics and discuss the issues involved.