What to Look Forward to at ASDS

As the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) Annual Meeting begins today, Sue Ellen Cox, MD, president of ASDS, participated in a Q&A session.

Sue Ellen Cox, MD, founder and medical director of Aesthetic Solutions in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and president of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), spoke with Dermatology Times® about what she is looking forward to at the meeting, what she hopes attendees take away from the meeting, and why she believes ASDS is an important meeting to attend.

Q: What are you looking forward to the most at the ASDS Annual Meeting?

A: I would say that since we've had 2 years of virtual conferences, I'm most looking forward to seeing my friends and colleagues that I've missed seeing over the past 2 years. I’m just thrilled to be back in person. As of today, there are 1000 ASDS members who are registered for the meeting, which is excellent. There will be a lot of people in attendance, and a lot of people that we've missed seeing.

Q: What are you hoping the attendees will take away from this conference?

A: First, we have pre-conference sessions such as the “Chemical Peel Workshop” and “Unplugged: Straight Talk.” Some of our pre-conference sessions have more than 100 people registered to attend, and the overall conference has more than 250 faculty members sharing their research, expertise, and their experience. I hope that all of the attendees agree that it will be amazing to hear what professionals are doing and what they have been doing over the past 2 years since we last met live.

ASDS is important because it has 3 distinct tracks that will allow attendees to choose from a cosmetic track, a dermatology surgery track, and an eclectic/practice management track. There are over 70 sessions for attendees to choose from, creating an environment of engaging content and networking opportunities. Plenaries are another exciting track to attend, as they are unopposed sessions. One plenary that I’m directing with Deirdre Hooper, MD, who's the chair of ASDS, “Innovative Treatments from Around the World,” will feature expert opinions from professionals across the globe. Attendees will be eager to hear from Peter Peng, MD, from Taiwan; Gabriella Casabona, MD, from Spain; José Montes, MD, FACS, from, San Juan; and Jaishree Sharad, MD, from India. Our speakers have experience in lasers, aesthetics, reconstruction, and pigmentation issues.

The last 3 sessions I will mention that I think will be beneficial to our attendees are "Running Towards Chaos”, “Iron Surgeon,” and “Breaking Bad.” “Running Towards Chaos” is a firsthand experience of the Boston Marathon bombing from our keynote speaker, Natalie Stavas, MD. “Iron Surgeon” and “Breaking Bad” are typically 2 of the most popular sessions at ASDS, and I hope our attendees enjoy being back in person to experience these wonderful sessions.

Q: Can you talk more about “Iron Surgeon” and “Breaking Bad?” 

A: Iron Surgeon is always run by Andrew Kaufman, MD; and Thomas Rohrer, MD. Iron Surgeon [features] 2 separate people within the same discipline [with differing opinions]. So, if it's a Mohs surgeon or a cosmetic professional, they are given a topic or a picture of a patient, maybe a picture of skin cancer, and they are asked how they would each reconstruct it. The audience votes on who reconstructs the example best. “Breaking Bad” is hosted by Nowell Solish, MD, FRCPC, and he has a true confessional booth. Someone sits in that confessional to say, “I am sorry, I have sinned, and this is the sin that I've done.” Typically, it’s a complication with a patient. Then Solish gives out various tasks to perform to be absolved of the sins. It's always a fantastic session. We all like to hear from our peers' complications because that's the way we learn. It takes a lot of nerve to go up in front of a whole session and admit what has gone wrong in your practice.

Q: Any closing remarks?

A: ASDS is going to be jam-packed; there will be many networking opportunities. I think it’s important to point out that many of the residents have never gone to a live meeting. I teach at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and you have to think this is the first time in 2 years that they’ll have the opportunity to network. Many of them are starting their 3rd year and they've never networked with other people in their programs or with different industry leaders.

I think networking is so important. It's how you build your foundation for the rest of your career. Those are the people that you call on when you have a problem and if you can network with them and increase the reach of your network when you're a resident, it becomes so important.

I also think that just the value for the residents of attendingASDS and seeing what the meeting is like and meeting the leadership team of ASDS. It's just such an amazing opportunity to expand on surgical skills and cosmetic skills, which a lot of residency programs don't have.

Stay up to date with coverage throughout the week on our ASDS conference page.