Summer Meeting: Expanding your “therapeutic toolbox”

By Sheila Fallon Friedlander, MD

Chair, Scientific Assembly Committee

“If it’s dry, wet it…if it’s wet, dry it…and if that doesn’t work, throw some steroids at it.”

The 2018 AAD Summer Meeting completely demolishes that “urban legend” about our specialty, and provides us with a view to the phenomenal advancements in our field that make dermatology an academically rigorous field of medicine.

We now possess an even larger “therapeutic toolbox” that has eclipsed “drying, wetting, and adding steroids.” Bruce Thiers, MD, will give the Plenary lecture that will walk us through our therapeutic history, and the vast number of treatment options that have supplanted the “wet it, dry it” era with those of sound biological basis and specific mechanism of action.

Another of our Plenary lecturers — birthmark guru Veronica Kinsler, MD, PhD — will explain how genetic characterization of birthmarks has revolutionized our understanding of their etiology. This new genetic comprehension has also allowed us to better categorize lesions and consider more innovative therapies.

Eric Simpson, MD, MCR, will carry the “genetics leads to better therapeutics” message forward by focusing on atopic dermatitis. This master clinician-scientist will review both prophylactic and therapeutic options that are anticipated to improve the lives of many patients.

Understanding and treating cutaneous malignancies remains the bedrock of dermatologic practice. Chrysalyne Schmults, MD, MSCE, will discuss the increasing risk of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, and provide new insights on the concept of “field cancerization,” immunosuppression-associated SCC, and the importance of risk stratification and appropriate therapy.

Guest speaker Christine Sinsky, MD, will go “in search of joy in medicine” by offering ways to use innovation and practice design, while exploring how physician well-being affects patient outcomes. This will all be emphasized around the adage “care of the patient requires care of the provider.”

Furthermore, the Summer Meeting continues to evolve with the popularity and impact of our hands-on workshops. These sessions address a variety of topics including nails, surgery, scar revision, and fillers. Our “Patient Experience” hands-on sessions also address difficult topics such as “Breaking Bad News” and “The Difficult Patient,” areas that challenge even the best and brightest of us.

Finally, the AAD is committed to helping all members deal with the changing economic landscape of medicine. Courses on MIPS, MACRA, and other governmental and insurance-related conundrums have been designed to make these issues more digestible. We also have a course that focuses on consolidation of clinical practices and the role of private equity — issues that we are confronting more and more in everyday practice. Enjoy!