Academy rocks San Francisco: From bench to bedside to Bench

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Antoni Ribas, MD, delivers the Lila and Murray Gruber Memorial Cancer Research Award and Lectureship during the Sunday Plenary.

For several days last month, there was excitement and anticipation in Moscone North, South, and West. If there had been a Moscone East, that would have been buzzing, as well. What could cause such excitement and anticipation? It wasn’t a concert at the Fillmore, but an event nonetheless  — the American Academy of Dermatology’s 73rd Annual Meeting in San Francisco. It not only offered “bench to bedside” education, but featured a real Bench, the Cincinnati Reds baseball great, to talk about his experience with skin cancer and involvement in Play Sun Smart™. The meeting offered more than 400 sessions, giving a broad range of educational experiences for practicing dermatologists.

Plenary packed with great speakers

The Sunday Plenary featured many noted speakers and topics. The Clarence S. Livingood, MD Award and Lectureship, “Dermatology: Insuring the Future for the Patients We Serve,” was presented by Bruce E. Wintroub, MD, who talked about the existence of unconscious bias keeping dermatology from reflecting the population it serves. James G. Krueger, MD, PhD, presented the Eugene J. Van Scott Award for Innovative Therapy of the Skin and Phillip Frost Leadership Lecture, focusing on the research revolution over the past 20 years that has translated to new targeted therapeutic treatments for psoriasis. The Lila and Murray Gruber Memorial Cancer Research Award and Lectureship featured Antoni Ribas, MD, on “Blocking BRAF and PD-1 to Treat Melanoma.” George Cotsarelis, MD, presented the Marion B. Sulzberger, MD Memorial Award and Lectureship, “Hair Loss: From Known Knowns to Unknown Unknowns.” There were also guest presentations by Deputy Surgeon General Boris D. Lushniak, MD, MPH, Steven J. Stack, MD, president-elect of the American Medical Association, and Baseball Hall of Fame’s illustrious Johnny Bench.

Innovative and informative sessions

Among the more than 400 sessions, the Academy offered several new hands-on workshops in three areas: nail surgery, suture techniques, and dermal filler injections. Expert faculty demonstrated a variety of procedures in each of these topic areas, and attendees had the opportunity to practice techniques using cadaveric specimens or simulation models. The Academy offered five “late-breaking abstract” sessions to emphasize advances and new research trends in the field of dermatology. The Hot Topics symposium offered some of the most dynamic and important topics selected by registrants of the meeting, providing a platform for cutting-edge information and new therapies in dermatology. The Academy also presented a series of much-anticipated Translating Evidence into Practice sessions throughout the Annual Meeting.

Enhanced meeting experience

This year’s Annual Meeting featured a variety of innovative technologies to enhance the meeting attendee experience. Among those were life-size, interactive video displays with programming schedules, general meeting information, and real-time registration statistics (including a geographic display), along with enlarged interactive versions of the popular Meeting App to assist attendees in navigating the program and convention center; and new, unique learning environments, like the Learning Links and Learning Lounge rooms. The AAD Derm Exam Prep Refresher Course featured individual iPad technology for participants, replacing the shared computer terminals used in the past. The iPads also offered the ability to provide audience feedback via a pre-programmed audience response system. New Pulse technology replaced the traditional Audience Response System (ARS) keypads utilized in all non-MOC Interactive Sessions, and e-posters were accessible via the Meeting App. The Academy also converted self-serve registration counters to self-serve airline kiosks to allow meeting attendees the ability to check their flight status, check-in, and print their boarding passes, prior to departing for the airport.

Summer Academy Meeting in NYC

Plans are already underway for the 2015 Summer Academy Meeting, Aug. 19-23, at the New York Hilton Midtown. More information about this event is available online.

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