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Session Information

SYM S006 - Minimizing Errors in the Detection, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Melanoma

Open admission, no tuition or ticket.


Date: Thursday, August 16

CME Credits: 3.00

Location: Ballroom A

Time: 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Director: Christopher James Miller, MD, FAAD


  • Rosalie Elenitsas, MD, FAAD
  • Tara Gangadhar, MD
  • Giorgos Karakousis, MD
  • Arthur Joel Sober, MD, FAAD
  • Suraj S. Venna, MD, FAAD
  • Martin A. Weinstock, MD, PhD, FAAD

Learning Objectives:
Following this course, the attendee should be able to:

  • 1. Develop patient education and screening strategies that increase the likelihood of early detection of melanoma.
  • 2. Minimize diagnostic errors that result from suboptimal biopsy methods and pathologic pitfalls.
  • 3. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of various strategies for the staging and treatment of melanoma.

Error in the diagnosis of melanoma of melanoma is the second most common allegation against dermatologists (Moshell AN et al. J Am Acad Derm 2012;66:78-85). As the primary caretakers for many patients at risk for melanoma or with a diagnosis of melanoma, dermatologists routinely make management decisions that carry life and death implications for their patients. To optimize patient outcomes, dermatologists must routinely reassess their knowledge and skills about screening, detection, diagnosis, treatment, staging, and surveillance. This session will propose evidence-based strategies to help dermatologists minimize errors at every step of the management of melanoma patients.


  • Moshell AN et al. Characteristics of medical professional liability claims against dermatologists: Data from 2704 closed claims in a voluntary registry. J Am Acad Derm 2012;66:78-85.


Thursday, August 16
2:00 PMMinimizing errors in the management of melanoma: Why it’s critical to get it right / Dr. Miller
2:05 PMHow more effective screening strategies can improve early detection of melanoma / Dr. Weinstock
2:25 PMHow to refine your physical exam and diagnostic skills to make sure you don’t miss the melanoma / Dr. Venna
2:45 PMQuestions and Answers / Dr. Weinstock and Dr. Venna
2:55 PMRecognizing potential pitfalls in the pathologic diagnosis of melanoma / Dr. Elenitsas
3:15 PMInterpreting the pathology report so you know what to do next: defining the role of staging in high risk melanoma patients / Dr. Sober
3:35 PMQuestions and Answers / Dr. Elenitsas and Dr. Sober
3:45 PMSurgical strategies to improve clearance of the primary melanoma / Dr. Miller
4:05 PMTo cut or not to cut: defining the role of surgery to detect or remove regional or distant metastases / Dr. Karakousis
4:25 PMA growing armamentarium: how medical therapy can improve patient outcomes / Dr. Gangadhar
4:45 PMQuestions and Answers / All faculty