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Session Information

SYM S004 - Minimizing Errors in the Detection, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Melanoma

Open admission to eligible categories, no tuition or ticket


Date: Thursday, August 01

CME Credits: 3.00

Location: Rendezvous Trianon

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 - Handout
  • 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 for 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 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 continuously 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.


  • Characteristics of medical professional liability claims against dermatologists: data from 2704 closed claims in a voluntary registry. J Am Acad Dermatol 2012 Jan;66(1):78-85


Thursday, August 01
2:00 PMMinimizing errors in the management of melanoma: Why it’s critical to get it right / Dr. Miller
2:05 PMPublic health ideas for more effective screening strategies to reduce morbidity and mortality from 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 PMHow to interpret the pathology report to guide decisions about additional staging with sentinel lymph node biopsy or imaging / Dr. Sober
3:35 PMQuestions and Answers / Dr. Elenitsas and Dr. Sober
3:45 PMSurgical strategies to make sure the primary melanoma doesn’t recur / Dr. Miller
4:05 PMThe role of surgery to improve outcomes in patients with regional or distant metastases: how I balance the risks and benefits / Dr. Karakousis
4:25 PMThe role of systemic therapy to improve outcomes in patients with metastatic disease or with a high risk for metastasis: how I balance the risks and benefits / Dr. Gangadhar
4:45 PMQuestions and Answers / All faculty