Education evolving at summer meeting to meet new member needs

From the President

Daniel Siegel

Dr. Siegel served as the Academy's president from March 20, 2012 to March 5, 2013.

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I’m looking forward to seeing many of you in Boston later this month for the Summer Academy Meeting! Being held Aug. 15-19, the meeting will offer attendees the opportunity to get a solid update on the most exciting happenings in many different areas of dermatology, learn how to apply evidence-based guidelines in key clinical areas in daily practice, and perhaps take in some of the wide variety of historic and natural attractions late-summer Boston has to offer.

The updates are available in new “Update Platform” sessions that will debut at this meeting. The sessions, which will each last between one and three hours, offer practicing dermatologists a chance to hear about the most exciting new developments in particular areas of our diverse specialty. Session topics include medical dermatology, cosmetic and dermatologic surgery, pediatrics, cutaneous oncology, dermatopathology, and a joint symposium of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology and the AAD that will deal with infestations, drug reactions, and pregnancy eruptions. All of these sessions will be held in the same room as the Friday morning Plenary Session, ensuring that there will be plenty of space for all who want to attend, and they’ll be led by some of our specialty’s heavy hitters; you could spend most of the meeting in a single room and walk away with a fairly comprehensive idea of the big new developments in dermatology. [pagebreak]

Of course, the meeting has more to offer than these new sessions. We often hear about an educational future that involves evidence-based guidelines, evidence-based medicine and, in this very issue of Dermatology World, outcomes-based education and continuing professional development. One area where the future is now is the use of our evidence-based guidelines to hold sessions that help translate the evidence from clinical guidelines into everyday practice. A series of workshops during the summer meeting will give attendees the opportunity to delve into our guidelines related to primary cutaneous melanoma, acne, and psoriasis. Workshop participants complete a short survey before the presentations and discussion begin, and six months later we send a follow-up survey to find out how much the session changed participants’ treatment patterns. The results, in aggregate, help us learn which educational formats are most effective; the specific act of attending the session and completing the surveys, as discussed in the "Bridging the gaps" article, helps each participant gauge his or her knowledge gaps and fill them. 

One gap that studies suggest many of us should work to fill is thinking about how the information we present and the treatments we prescribe are understood and received by patients. A forum in Boston will address this topic head-on, as, for the first time at an Academy meeting, a panel of patients will discuss how dermatologic conditions impact them at “Life Altering Skin Disease from the Patient Perspective.”

Of course, no meeting would be complete without a little sight-seeing. Late summer is a wonderful time of year to visit New England. After the sessions are over, explore Boston’s heritage sites and museums. If you have a few extra days, you can head to mountains to hike, trek to Maine for premium biking, or hit the shore along Cape Cod or Martha’s Vineyard.

With so much to do, why would you miss it? Hope to see you there; I’ll be at the Academy Resource Center (booth 619) on Friday, Aug. 17 from 2 to 3 p.m. if you’d like to say hello. In the meantime, visit to see a preview of what is in store.