Summer Meeting scores with sessions, speakers, and latest science

This year’s Summer Meeting took the energy for which New York is famous and channeled it into high-intensity education sessions, keynote speakers, and general sessions to spotlight dermatology at its best.

AAD President George Hruza, MD, MBA.

When AAD President George Hruza, MD, MBA, delivered his address, he noted the meeting’s goal of showcasing innovation to advance dermatology and the profession.

“I live for days like this and for the chance to apply something new I learned for my patients,” Dr. Hruza said after sharing the details of a difficult, but successful patient case. “That sense of fulfillment — of joy — for being able to make a difference for a patient is what our profession is all about. Together, as a unified specialty, we have had great success, and I anticipate continued success going forward.”

Mark your calendar!
The 2020 AAD Annual Meeting is in Denver, March 20-24, 2020.

New sessions draw big interest

The AAD 2019 Summer Meeting served up timely and valuable information for the meeting’s 2,800-plus attendees. New sessions, such as “Hands-on: The Patient Encounter: Transgender Patient” (WSP002) delivered important tips for treating patients who identify as transgender. It underscored the importance of gender concordance when treating individuals and building awareness of their unique concerns. Also new, the session “Physician Safety: Protecting the Caregiver in Violent Times” (F008) described concerns for physician safety when interacting with patients. The session provided attendees with tips to recognize the legal aspects of threatening physician-patient encounters and prevent or de-escalate such potentially dangerous situations in the health care setting.

Don’t Brush it Off: Diagnosis and Management of Hair Loss in Children (U002) was another new addition to the lineup that shed light on the detecting clues of uncommon causes of pediatric hair loss. This includes loose anagen hair syndrome, lichen planopilaris, and androgenetic alopecia.

Summer Meeting stats

Final numbers are still being audited, but the New York meeting counts are:

  • More than 2,800 attendees.
  • More than 1,173 physician member, life, and honorary member attendees, an increase from the 2018 Summer Meeting.
  • Close to 1,800 medical personnel attendees across all days.
  • Over 750 exhibitors.

Plenary gets personal

Four dermatologists presented inspirational career stories during DermTales, a new addition to the Plenary (P151). Each of the dermatologists had 5 minutes to recount an experience that affected how they practice dermatology.

“Always trust your instincts and never give up. There were times that I thought I might not be able to help him,” DermTales presenter Steven T. Chen, MD, MPH, of Massachusetts General Hospital, said of a patient who was so frustrated by a skin condition that he considered suicide, “but it was just the mere act of trying something new and continuing to work with him that helped convince him to keep plugging away.”

In addition to Dr. Chen, the selected storytelling team included Boynton Beach, Florida dermatologist Andrew Hart Weinstein, MD, MPH; Charles N. Ellis, MD, University of Michigan Medical School; and Robert T. Brodell, MD, University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Other notable speakers

Also during the Plenary, Amy J. McMichael, MD, a professor of dermatology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, delivered the Everett C. Fox, MD Memorial Award and Lectureship, “Hair Loss: A Journey of Follicular Rescue.” Dr. McMichael’s passion for treating central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA) in women of African ancestry grew from her own experience with friends and family.

Justin Ko, MD, MBA, the chair of the Academy’s Ad Hoc Task Force on Augmented Intelligence (AuI), explored the role of AuI in dermatology during the Plenary. Dr. Ko emphasized that specialists can use it to their advantage rather than fearing it will one day replace them.

For his part in the Plenary, John E. Harris, MD, PhD, associate professor of dermatology at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, delivered a hopeful update for vitiligo during “Translational Research in Vitiligo: Launching a New Era of Targeted Treatments.” For patients facing the menacing and socially debilitating condition, a potentially long-lasting treatment is within reach, he said.

Guest speaker Nicholas Webb, a health care strategist, CEO, author, inventor, and innovator, delivered a dynamic address over the “The Disruptive Future of Dermatology — The Good News!” Webb identified three main components of this disruption to the dermatology practice, including consumerization, enabling technologies, and market/customer value.

“Very often, customers have no way of determining the efficacy or quality of the services they are receiving. Therefore, they are making decisions based on the human experience across five touchpoints that are specific to their persona, not clinical skills,” Webb said. “Am I suggesting that clinical skills are not mandatory? Absolutely not! But growing practices are made up of great health care providers that respect the importance of architecting both exceptionally safe and efficacious treatment, while concurrently instituting formal customer experience architecture.”

*For more information about the 2019 AAD Summer Meeting sessions, claiming CME credit, and handouts, visit the education page.