AAD campaign a 'success': Outgoing leader looks back on 2007

March 1, 2008

Diane R. Baker, M.D., outlined the challenges, strategies and successes of her year at the helm of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), in an address at the 66th annual AAD meeting here in February.

Key Points

San Antonio - Diane R. Baker, M.D., outlined the challenges, strategies and successes of her year at the helm of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) in an address at the 66th annual AAD meeting here in February.

The outgoing president highlighted the success of the academy's specialty positioning campaign to target the public and raise awareness on a variety of skin health issues that dermatologists deem important.

"It was so successful, the board and members recently decided to continue the campaign in 2008," she tells Dermatology Times.

The one major challenge that still faces AAD and dermatologists in the United States is Medicare physician payment reform, Dr. Baker says. She urges dermatologists to take the time to fully cooperate with a survey on the issue.

"Your input is extremely important," she says.

Global goals

Dr. Baker also talked about the AAD's accomplishments on three strategic issues: AAD as the global leader in dermatology; dermatology workforce problems; and science and research.

"We welcomed international attendees from over 80 countries this year," Dr. Baker says. She discussed the academy's global goals, which include initiatives to assure international dermatologists are well-represented in the educational structure; to provide high-quality dermatologic education to all, including international members; to encourage participation of international faculty and research authors; to represent dermatology in international health organizations; and to improve the standards of dermatologic care in the world.

Dermatology workforce

On the dermatology workforce front, Dr. Baker discussed the increased demand for dermatologic care and the role of AAD in the education of dermatology nurse practitioners and physician extenders.

"According to the 2007 Practice Profile survey, currently, 29 percent of dermatologists employ a nurse practitioner (NP) or a physician's assistant (PA), and another 19 percent are currently seeking to hire one or are planning on hiring one in the next few years," she says.

"There is no question that we have a responsibility to ensure that all members of our patient-care team are well-educated, appropriately trained and supervised, and provide quality dermatologic care. The question is, how much should the academy be involved in the formal training of nurse practitioners?"

The same survey showed a difference of opinion on this issue, she says. For instance, 57 percent of those surveyed support academy development of PA and NP education programs; however, 81 percent of those who already employ a PA or NP support such a program.

One such program debuted Feb. 4 at the AAD's annual meeting.