Norman Levine, M.D., is a private practitioner in Tucson, Ariz. He also is a member of the Dermatology Times Editorial Advisory board and a co-medical editor.
In this article, Dr. Norman Levine sums up his takeaways from the American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting, beginning with a presentation by two physicians who addressed the difficulties of managing hidradenitis suppurativa, such as fixed dosing. He also addressed controversies associated with treatments for atopic dermatitis. Apparently, bleach baths are no better than regular baths in improving skin symptoms.
I have recently returned from the American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting in San Diego. Based on the quality of the presentations, the exciting new innovations discussed and the frank, yet upbeat assessments about the future of our specialty, I am once again fired up about being a dermatologist.
I would like to share a number of new ideas and therapeutic pearls that were presented at the meeting. This will be a small fraction of the information presented, but represents the portion of dermatology that is of most interest to me.
Perhaps the most inspiring talk given at the meeting was by Dr. Abraham Verghese who is an internist and the author of the best-selling book, “Cutting For Stone.” He discussed the erosion of physician and patient satisfaction over the past 10-15 years and traced it, in part, to the situation where patients are no longer actually being examined, but rather their medical records are combed exhaustively in search of correct diagnoses. This inevitably leads to a deterioration in the doctor-patient relationship. However, he sees our specialty as one where the so-called old fashioned virtue of direct examination, including a detailed history and complete cutaneous examination, which includes actually touching the person, still prevails. I left that lecture and the meeting itself feeling very good about dermatology.