Advocacy for Dermatologists: How You Can Get Involved


Mona Sadeghpour, MD, FAAD, chair of the State of Affairs Work Group of ASDSA, spoke at the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Meeting about how dermatologists can stay involved in dermatologic advocacy.

In the opening session of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) Meeting, Mona Sadeghpour, MD, chair of the State of Affairs Work Group of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association (ASDSA) and co-founder of SkinMed Institute in Lone Tree, Colorado, gave an overview of updates of what the ASDSA has been working on to help educate and advocate on behalf of dermatologic surgeons and their patients.

Sadeghpour explained that there are 3 main work groups within the ASDSA: federal, state affairs, and policies & priorities. As far as federal legislative updates, there are 2 important pieces of legislation that help to advocate for physicians and protect the ongoing cuts to their payments from Medicare, the “Supporting Medicare Providers Act of 2022” and the “Improving Seniors' Timely Access to Care Act of 2022.” These legislations also help advocate for timely access to care for seniors.

For federal regulatory issues, the ASDSA has been pressing the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help skin lesion analyzers (SLA) and to keep them away from untrained personnel such as patients who may become concerned if they're losing access to these devices, or other untrained physicians who may not have the education and equipment to be able to handle SLAs. Sadeghpour mentions that “ASDSA has been instrumental in keeping the role of board-certified dermatologists relevant in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer lesions.”

Another difficulty dermatologists are facing is drug shortages. Sadeghpour references preserved saline and lidocaine with epinephrine as commonly see shortages. This is a complicated issue to address nationally, but the ASDSA has continued to place pressure on the FDA for solutions. Sadeghpour encouraged all session attendees to report their drug shortages to

Regarding key state issues, there have been 2 bills introduced in the state of Colorado in the last 2 years that would grant independent practice to physician’s assistants, most recently House Bill 1095. Both bills were almost passed in Colorado, but due to grassroots efforts led by Geoffrey Lim, MD, and the Colorado Medical Society, the bills have been blocked each time. Sadeghpour believes the bills will continue to come back, but believes the power of advocacy from ASDSA and the Colorado Medical Society will prove effective in blocking them.

“Please know that grassroots works and it's your involvement and engagement that makes that happen,” said Sadeghpour.

Next, Sadeghpour discussed the rising concern of dentists, naturopathics, and cosmetologists performing not just injectables and neurotoxins, but ablative lasers. ASDSA continues to stay involved in the issue to help to protect patients. “Ologist bills” are also being introduced in certain states to protect the word “dermatologist,” so that not anyone who is not a board-certified dermatologist can use that terminology.

Sadeghpour ended her talk by stressing the importance of advocacy and sharing real-life examples of adverse events among colleagues. ASDSA has created multiple different avenues to collect those examples. The first advocacy platform is the Cutaneous Procedures Adverse Events Reporting Registry (CAPER). Sadeghpour encourages dermatologists to provide one example to CAPER in the next 6 months to support and educate fellow colleagues. The Legislative Story Portal is another platform to use. It is not necessarily patient safety related, but it can be any general story to share with Congress or senators.

“So how can you be involved? I got involved when I was a resident, it was other people who were more senior than me who told me about the importance of advocacy. And I sort of caught the bug. You should know that this is something that needs to be passed on. We need to talk about it. We need to encourage and educate other members including people who are early on in their career,” said Sadeghpour.

Filling out the advocacy portals and engaging with ASDSA is how dermatologists can advocate for patients, and protect their fields, and their roles as board-certified dermatologists.


  1. Sadeghpour M. Opening Session: President and Chairs Welcome, Advocacy Update, and FLN Presentation. Presented at: 2022 American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Annual Meeting, October 7-10, Denver Colorado.
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