Another New York Summer Academy for the books


The 2013 AAD Summer Academy Meeting drew more than 3,000 people to attend a variety of education sessions, including live demonstrations of dermatologic procedures.

If you’ve been keeping up with the Academy’s Meeting News website, you may have seen and answered the latest meeting trivia question: How many times, including this year, has the AAD’s Summer Academy been held in NYC? Three, five, or seven times? Here’s a hint — it’s not three. If you guessed five, you’d be … off by two meetings.

Summer Academy Meeting 2013 marks the seventh time the Academy has traveled to New York — and with good reason. The vivacity and excitement of the city make it an ideal setting for an Academy Meeting. With more than 2,000 medical personnel, 900 exhibitors, and grand total of more than 3,300 people in attendance, this year’s Summer Academy was another success!

Friday Plenary highlights

The summer Plenary on Friday, Aug. 2, conveyed a wide spectrum of information, from fascinating presentations on the latest medical research and the changing health care environment to the impact of technology on physician-patient interactions.

After opening remarks by Ilona J. Frieden, MD, chair of the Scientific Assembly Committee, Academy President Dirk M. Elston, MD, discussed the Academy’s efforts to better communicate the role of dermatologists and the scope of dermatologic practice to the public. He also spoke of the impact of the Affordable Care Act and strategies developed to help dermatologists prepare for expected changes.

The Everett C. Fox, MD, Memorial Lectureship was given by Mark Lebwohl, MD, who discussed advances in biologic and topical treatments for conditions such as basal cell carcinoma, actinic keratosis, melanoma, psoriasis, and urticaria. Dr. Lebwohl also reviewed the status of biologic drugs recently approved or expected to be approved soon by the FDA, as well as systemic and topical treatments for vitiligo, eczema, rosacea, and toenail fungus.

During her presentation “Basepairs to Bedside: Genetics and Immunology in Alopecia Areata,” Angela M. Christiano, PhD, reviewed recent studies that show alopecia areata shares genes with three other autoimmune diseases — type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and celiac disease. She also discussed the promising results of drug therapies that restored hair growth in mice with the disease.

In “Recent Advances in Melanoma Screening and Therapy,” Allan C. Halpern, MD, examined the pros and cons of melanoma screening efforts. He also looked at the use of pathway-targeted therapies and immunologic checkpoint blockade therapies in treating melanoma, noting that combination therapies appeared to have fewer side effects than approved therapies.

Marta Jane Van Beek, MD, MPH, spoke about the role of dermatologists in accountable care organizations (ACOs). Since many aspects of the Affordable Care Act will be enacted in 2014, including ACOs, she discussed the opportunities that this presents for dermatologists, as well as explaining the different types of ACOs and how they affect both physicians and patients.

Terrance A. Cronin Jr., MD, presented “Tattoos and Piercings.” He looked at the history of skin decorations and their current role in society. Dr. Cronin explained what tattoos may mean as well as the newest tattoo trends, their removal, and the treatment of infections and keloids in people who have tattoos.

The last presenter was guest speaker Danielle Ofri, MD, PhD. In “Tools of the Trade: Old and New Technologies in Medicine,” she discussed the expanding role of computers in the treatment of patients, and how it can sometimes be at the cost of patient interaction. A physician, professor, and author, Dr. Ofri offered tips for bridging the gap that often grows between physicians and their patients.

For more detailed information about the Plenary, check out the Summer Academy Dailies. Also, a large selection of meeting photo highlights is now available for viewing on the Meeting News Image Gallery.


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