Dr. Lim calls for unity, diversity in dermatology

Henry Lim, MD

As he begins his term on Tuesday as AAD president, Henry Lim, MD, is focusing on uniting all dermatology professionals to advance the specialty and the care of its patients.

In his President-Elect’s Address, Dr. Lim said that he would convene a Dermatology Specialty Summit in May. Leaders from subspecialties, representatives of AAD state societies, and patient support groups will meet in Chicago.

“We must intensify our efforts to define scope of practice. Almost 50 percent of us have physician assistants and nurse practitioners in our practice. We welcome them as an integral part of our patient-care team,” Dr. Lim said. “However, we all know of instances where mid-level providers with doctorate degrees advertise themselves as skin care doctors. The difference between an MD and a PhD is more than a handful of initials.”

No matter what the training or specialty focus is, “We must all embrace the unity of dermatology to achieve a single, strong, effective voice,” he said.

Dr. Lim also said that more diversity is needed among those working in dermatology.

“I am concerned that the face of dermatology today does not match the faces of our patients. This is a challenging issue not only for dermatology, but for the entire medical profession,” he said. “Among medical specialties, we placed second to last in the percentage of dermatologists from minority groups. Only orthopedics is worse.”

He added that dermatologists are among the leaders in making good progress on gender equality. “Women now account for over 60 percent of our residents. But where are the African-Americans, the Native Americans and Hispanics? Rarely to be found in dermatology. We must begin to address this shortcoming of our specialty. During my presidential year, I want your input, your ideas for how to make progress on this important issue.”

Dr. Lim emphasized that he remains optimistic about the future of AAD and the specialty because of the strength of its membership.

“I am confident that the future of our specialty is in good hands,” he said. “We can rely on you — on all of us — to recruit, to educate, and to nurture the generations to follow, and to continue to carry out the mission of making our Academy and our specialty the best that it can be in service to our members and to our patients.

“I look forward to working with all of you as we embark on this wonderful and exciting journey together.”

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