New AAD president to take helm

February 20, 2005

Clay J. Cockerell, M.D., assumes the post of AAD president tomorrow.

Clay J. Cockerell, M.D., assumes the post of AAD president tomorrow.

In his address yesterday to the AAD membership, he said, "In life, it is always what is next that is more important than what was," speaking of his forward-looking vision for the Academy.

Dr. Cockerell is clinical professor of dermatology and pathology and director of dermatopathology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.

He said the AAD membership, at 15,000, was a "healthy statistic," adding his praise for the field of dermatology as a whole: "Dermatology attracts the best and brightest and is one of the most sought-after residency programs. In many ways, we are experiencing a golden age," referring to the many services that dermatologists offer and how respected they are.

Featured in newspapers and magazines, the field represents the cutting edge of research and science, he adds, and in this climate, he says, "Dermatologists must be united, ethical and professional above all else."

"To achieve this goal, dermatologists must always ask themselves, what is best for dermatology, for patients and for the association? They must work to support research and gain meaningful tort reform, continuing to grow in leadership," he encouraged.

He spoke of association initiatives to decrease incidence of skin cancer.

"If dentists could reduce the prevalence of tooth decay, why can't dermatologists do the same thing to reduce the incidence of skin cancer?" he asked, amid applause.