Women celebrate hard-won place in dermatology

February 20, 2005

The Women's Dermatologic Society celebrated its thirtieth year in existence in an awards luncheon yesterday.

The Women's Dermatologic Society celebrated its thirtieth year in existence in an awards luncheon yesterday.

Dr. Sandra Read, president of the society, spoke of the landmark year marked by the luncheon and she recounted the purpose of the group, which she says now has 1,300 members: "To help women achieve their personal and professional potential."

She spoke specifically about the strides of the mentorship program and announced $1 million in funding for a new skin cancer awareness campaign.

The women who attended, and at least one man, donned pearl necklaces to commemorate the role of women in passing knowledge in medicine, applauding enthusiastically as a video recounted strides in the field and in the society, specifically.

The video, written and produced by Pearl Grimes, M.D., director, Vitiligo and Pigmentation Institute of Southern California, Los Angeles, spoke of women as healers since antiquity, who surmounted various obstacles, including accusations of practicing witchcraft, in the pursuit of medicine.

Awards were given to celebrate the work of Patricia G. Engasser, M.D., clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco; Lenore S. Kakita, M.D., clinical assistant professor of dermatology, University of California, San Francisco; and Ilona J. Frieden, M.D., clinical professor and chief, division of pediatric dermatology, University of California, San Francisco, specifically for her work as a mentor.