A sneak peek at AAD’s Plenary session

Dermatology World has compiled a “who’s who” of the great minds that attendees will hear from at Sunday’s Plenary session (P151). Learn more about these seven individuals and what they plan to share in their presentations.

Mary-Margaret Chren, MD
The State of (Measuring) the Art of Dermatology
What is one insight you can share about the future of dermatology?
The delivery of health care is shifting to the ambulatory setting, where we treat most of our patients, and payment incentive systems increasingly reward value, not volume. The fact that we have robust and feasible ways to accurately measure the value of what we do is great news for the future of dermatology.

Jan T. Vilcek, MD, PhD
Infliximab: How a TNF Inhibitor Advanced from Modest Beginnings to Unforeseen Therapeutic Successes
What is the key point you hope members will take away from your presentation?
My presentation will focus on the contribution of my laboratory to the development of the drug Remicade [infliximab], used by dermatologists mainly for the treatment of plaque psoriasis. I hope to convey that continued support of basic research is essential for the development of new therapeutic agents.

Alan D. Irvine, MD, DSc
Atopic Dermatitis
What does it mean to you to be selected for and speak at this year’s Plenary?
This is a huge honor for me. Marion B. Sulzberger, MD, was a giant of our specialty, and one of the founders of modern dermatology. His approach to investigational dermatology changed the culture of dermatology and has endured to this day. I hope AAD members realize the outlook for atopic dermatitis is full of exciting promise, and that we will shortly be able to do so much more for our patients who deal with this uncomfortable disease.

Jennifer A. Doudna, PhD
CRISPR Systems: Nature’s Toolkit for Genome Editing
What is the key point you hope members will take away from your presentation?
I am delighted to help spotlight fundamental scientific work being done to improve human health and the world we live in. My goal is for members to understand that CRISPR technology opens up completely new possibilities for how we live, but we must be mindful of its profound societal and ethical impact.

Abraham Verghese, MD
The Pathology Within: Burnout, Wellness and the Search for Meaning in a Professional Life
What does it mean to be selected as the guest speaker?
I’ve always had the greatest admiration for [dermatology]… I would like to think that my selection comes because some of the things I talk about and deeply believe in resonated with the membership. Such things as the importance of the patient-physician relationship, the need to not allow the electronic medical record to be intrusive, and the recognition that as routine as our work can seem, it’s never routine for the patient. I always like to remind myself and my students that we don’t have to do what we do, but instead get to do this. It’s a great privilege and an important distinction.

Suzanne M. Olbricht, MD
President-Elect’s Address
How do you plan to address challenges to the profession in your role as AAD president?
To quote Heraclitus, the only thing that is constant is change. The world today, including the health care environment, is enduring unprecedented turbulence in a very compressed timeline. The greatest challenge facing the profession is the external forces that narrow the opportunities to give patients the very best care we can. My goal is to keep the AAD relevant, energized, and working effectively to sustain and strengthen the practice of dermatology. I look forward to working with members to strategically focus the efforts of the Academy for forward momentum. Our patients depend on us!

Henry W. Lim, MD
President’s Address
What has been one of the greatest challenges to the profession in the last year?
In 2017, AAD continued to fight against cases where non-physicians advertise themselves as skin care doctors or experts, and the Academy has been persistent in advocating for truth in advertising and strengthened scope of practice regulations. We also developed a robust set of resources for members to educate, advocate, and communicate on these issues. Members can access these resources at www.aad.org/advocacy.


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