Expert speakers highlighted during Friday Plenary session

Plan to attend one of the highlights of the Summer Academy Meeting, the Plenary session, starting at 9 a.m. Friday in the Grand Ballroom. The session will feature five lectures as well as the President’s Address by Mark Lebwohl, MD.

To Err Is Human: Optimizing Patient Safety in Office Practice

James S. Taylor, MD

James S. Taylor, MD

Despite all efforts, errors remain a part of medical practice. However, creating a culture of patient safety can help reduce errors, which James S. Taylor, MD, will address in the Everett C. Fox, MD, Memorial Award and Lectureship, “To Err is Human: Optimizing Patient Safety in Office Practice.”

Dr. Taylor, quality improvement officer at the Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Institute, Cleveland Clinic, will discuss the importance of reporting and analyzing errors to improve patient care and develop a culture of safety.

He also will look at systemic issues that can contribute to errors, as well as the importance of a team approach that includes office personnel to address those systemic issues.

Derm Drugs: The Price Is Too Darn High!


Jacob Levitt, MD

Generic drugs are supposed to be a low-cost option for treating patients, but the cost has skyrocketed in recent years. Jacob Levitt, MD, has a unique perspective on the subject, which he will share when he presents a lesson in pharmaceutical industry economics, “Derm Drugs: The Price Is Too Darn High!”

“Before 2008, generics were less expensive, but after 2010, you saw this dramatic increase in prices,” said Dr. Levitt, vice chairman of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital. “This increase in prices, just in terms of making it relevant to physicians, results in higher rates, more required preauthorizations, and increased work for staff. The indirect cost to physicians is actually there as well.”

Dr. Levitt has an unusual background because of his family ties to the pharmaceutical industry. His grandfather started Taro Pharmaceuticals and his father was CEO of the company until it was sold in 2010. Dr. Levitt pulled double-duty by working at Taro during his residency until the sale.

He will explain how industry changes have fueled the increase in drug prices, including the development of a confidential rebate system that is now a boon to middlemen.

Emerging and Infectious Disease


Scott Norton, MD, MPH, MSc

Just when one threatening disease seems under control, another disease emerges. This cyclical nature of disease and the challenges that confront health care professionals will be examined by Scott Norton, MD, MPH, MSc, in “Emerging and Infectious Disease.”

“We have to maintain currency with new drugs and devices in development. What is novel and what is being developed so we can help our patients?” asked Dr. Norton. “In parallel, what are the new diseases we are seeing as well? We may spend time talking about new lasers, or treating congenital lesions, or new treatments for psoriasis, but those have been with us since time immemorial. We are seeing every year, every month, every week new diseases that are emerging.”

Dr. Norton is chief of dermatology at Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, DC, and has worked with the Centers for Disease Control on research into infectious diseases for 15 years. He will discuss old diseases, such as leprosy, that can attack in new regions and how a disease such as eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome can emerge and then disappear within a few years. Dr. Norton also will discuss how other diseases have been around for eons, but are now just being identified.

The public health concept of One Health, which recognizes that the health of humans is connected to the health of animals and the environment, will also be discussed during the presentation.

Professionalism: Opportunities and Dilemmas in Dermatology

Mary Maloney, MD (left) and Maria Hordinsky, MD

Mary Maloney, MD (left) and Maria Hordinsky, MD

Standards for ethical and professional behavior are dynamic in that they change over time and in different situations. Two members of the AAD Professionalism and Ethics Committee will discuss the challenges of ethical behavior during “Professionalism: Opportunities and Dilemmas in Dermatology.”

“In American medicine in general, professionalism has become a topic of discussion. It goes back to how physicians police themselves,” said Maria Hordinsky, MD.People are taking a look at how physicians practice.”

Mary Maloney, MD, who will discuss ethics and professionalism with Dr. Hordinsky, agreed, adding, “We need to return to having enthusiasm for this as a topic of discussion on an ongoing basis.”

In their presentation, Drs. Hordinsky and Maloney will present scenarios in which attendees can react to ethical and professional dilemmas using an audience response system. They also will discuss goals of the committee, which include posting online education modules and a resource center on the Academy website.

Guest Speaker: Positive Exposure

Rick Guidotti

Rick Guidotti

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and guest speaker, Rick Guidotti, sees it in nontraditional ways. A professional photographer, Guidotti established Positive Exposure to support individuals with genetic, physical, cognitive, and behavioral differences. The program uses visual arts to celebrate the richness of human diversity by portraying these individuals as human beings, rather than as a specific diagnosis or disease entity.

In his presentation, Guidotti will explore the social and psychological experiences of people living with difference across ethno-cultural heritages. Guidotti is renowned in the world of fashion for his work highlighting super models in magazines such as Elle, People, and GQ.


Summer Academy Meeting Plenary schedule, Grand Ballroom:

  • 9 a.m.: Chair’s Welcome
  • 9:05 a.m.: President’s Address
  • 9:20 a.m.: Everett C. Fox, MD, Memorial Lectureship
  • 9:55 a.m.: Derm Drugs: The Price is Too Darn High!
  • 10:20 a.m.: Emerging and Infectious Disease
  • 10:40 a.m.: Professionalism: Opportunities and Dilemmas in Dermatology
  • 11 a.m.: Guest Speaker: Positive Exposure

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