Damian McNamara

February 24, 2013

MIAMI BEACH, Florida — Multiple speakers will present advances in melanoma at the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) 71st Annual Meeting. The plenary session "should be outstanding," Janet Fairley, MD, chair of the scientific assembly committee, told Medscape Medical News.

Melanoma has been an area of dermatology that has seen phenomenal growth... Dr. Janet Fairley

"Melanoma has been an area of dermatology that has seen phenomenal growth in our understanding of underlying causes and then translation of this into prevention and therapeutic strategies," Dr. Fairley said.

Hensin Tsao, MD, from the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and Martin Weinstock, MD, from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, will outline the importance of these advances during their plenary presentations.

"Another area of incredible growth has been in our understanding of the genetic basis of skin disease," Dr. Fairley said. "Jouni Uitto was one of the pioneers in utilizing molecular techniques to investigate heritable skin disorders, and I am looking forward to his plenary lecture."

Dr. Uitto is chair of the Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology at Jefferson Medical College, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Nonmelanoma discoveries and treatment strategies will include the following: the 10 tumors you don't want to miss (abstract U004), skin cancer and photoprotection in skin of color (abstract F116), and therapeutic decision-making in cutaneous oncology (abstract S062).

Protecting clinical practice from dissatisfied patients and unsolicited online reviews is another theme of multiple sessions at the meeting. Talks such as managing your online reputation, how to optimally manage unhappy, anxious, and difficult patients, and when bad things happen to good doctors will offer tips on handling difficult situations.

Dr. Fairley pointed out that it is often "standing room only" at the popular maintenance of certification (MOC) sessions. "There is a larger number of these sessions this year in order to accommodate the demand." One example is the forum on helping dermatologists meet the 4 MOC requirements. Robert Kirsner, MD, from the University of Miami in Florida, will direct the session.

Also guided by popular demand, there will be more forums offered this year compared to previous years. There will be fewer sessions that require a ticket for admission. Feedback from dermatologists drove these changes.

Dermatology in Action

In addition to the potential for great South Florida weather, the City of Miami Beach has a lot to offer outside of the meeting, Dr. Fairley said. "It is a wonderful, culturally diverse city with a lot to offer the attendees."

Dermatologists who wish to make a difference in the community can volunteer their time at this year's Dermatology in Action event. The academy is partnering with the Miami Beach Police Athletic League to beautify the HandsOn Broward Community Center.

"The feedback from participants in previous years has been extremely positive," Dr. Fairley said. "It is a way in which AAD members can participate in an event that gives back to the community in which we are meeting." Check-in time at the Miami Beach Convention Center is Thursday, February 28, the day before the annual meeting programming starts. For more information, visit Dermatology in Action.

A digital flipbook of the advance program is available online.

Dr. Fairley has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) 71st Annual Meeting. March 1 - 5, 2013.