The 88th Annual Meeting of the British Association of Dermatologists took place at Liverpool ACC 1st - 4th July 2008.
Report by Jonathan Batchelor (Cambridge)
The brand new ACC in 2008’s European Capital of Culture provided a suitably impressive setting for the 88th BAD Annual
Meeting this July. The venue was completed only a few months before the meeting and the glass-topped building by award-winning WiIkinson Eyre Architects looked pristine on its prime site on the banks of the River Mersey. Many of the week’s social events took place in the attractive grade one listed Albert Dock development just a stone’s throw away from the convention centre.
Monday 30th June
The trainees’ pre-conference session had a surgical theme and attracted much interest not only from trainees but also from some more senior dermatologists who joined the audience! In the first part of the session, Chris Bower and Jerry Marsden gave overviews of current guidelines on appropriate management of skin cancer and how these guidelines are influencing dermatology practice in the UK. There followed a series of talks focussing on surgery in specific anatomical sites. David de Berker provided an entertaining selection of tips on investigation of nail abnormalities, based on a ‘smorgasbord’ of nail photos, which left many delegates clamouring for more. Peter Holt gave a tour of the nose - starting at the bridge and ending at the tip – based upon his years of experience as a skin surgeon, providing top tips for wound closures in tricky sites on and around the nose. Richard Barlow gave a very useful overview of the latest techniques in cosmetic dermatology, emphasising how important it is for cosmetic procedures to be carried out by qualified dermatologists. Ashley Cooper introduced a highly useful downloadable Electronic Log Book for skin surgeons and closed the session with his own selection of cases demonstrating tips for tricky wound closures, using impressive Photoshop tricks to superimpose images of BCCs and skin tens
ion lines on patients’ faces. Delegates then repaired to the Ha Ha Bar in Albert Dock to discuss the finer points of difficult wound closures (and other matters) until late into the night.
Tuesday 1st July
Tuesday being one of the busiest days of the conference, it was difficult to choose which session to attend. A fascinating array of clinicopathological cases were presented in the large main hall. With th
ree cases to present, all with impressive animations and graphics, it was only fair that the prize for best presentation should go to Dr Natkunarjah for his account of a family with primary erythromelalgia. Lunchtime focus sessions included another excellent session on nail disorders by David de Berker and a session by Peter Mortimer providing compelling evidence for more dermatologists to become MRCP examiners. Visiting speaker Professor Barbara Gilchrest provided a highly useful overview of her experience in using photodynamic therapy in Boston, with particular emphasis on the possible benefits of ALA-PDT. Charlotte Proby completed the scientific session with a fascinating insight into the latest developments in skin cancer research. The BSDS, BSD and BCDS special interest groups provided their usual wealth of interesting cases. The fizz flowed freely that evening at the President’s Reception. Guests enjoyed a few tasty canapés as they mingled and perused exhibits across several floors of the Liverpool Maritime Museum in Albert Dock. Later that evening, Spice City was packed out with conference delegates enjoying a curry.
Wednesday 2nd July
The Annual General Meeting was well-attended and provided a forum for lively discussion of current issues facing dermatology in the UK, including provision of dermatology services in the community, entry into UK-based practice of dermatologists trained overseas via CESR, and the Knowledge Based Assessment. After being congratulated for his excellent efforts as BAD president, Colin Holden handed over to Mark Goodfield to start the first two-year BAD presidential tenure. A number of scientific session papers focussed on outcomes of skin surgery in primary and secondary care,
echoing similar papers in Tuesday’s BSDS special interest group. A large audit carried out by Jon Goulding and colleagues
demonstrated a worrying trend towards more skin surgery being carried out inappropriately and to a poor standard in primary care. Professor Jean-Hilaire Saurat gave an interesting talk on the unusual topic of dioxin-related skin disease and a number of experts offered pearls of wisdom on various aspects of clinical dermatology, including a very helpful talk given by Sue Burge on how to assess patients with vasculitic rashes. The small hall housing the BSPD special interest group was practically overflowing with delegates, some having to sit on the stairs as they listened to a number of interesting presentations. The award for best presentation was awarded to Julia Gass for her fascinating case of steatocystoma multiplex and persistent primary dentition. That evening, those with more energy than me went out for another night out in central Liverpool but I joined friends in the Wirral for dinner for my one quiet evening of the week!
Thursday 3rd July
The Professors’ and Registrars’ Forum provided its usual interesting mix of viewpoints from dermatology professors and the latest findings of a number of aspiring researchers. Rod Hay’s presentation on dermatology in the developing world gave a more international slant to dermatological practice and Eugene Healey emphasised the need for more high quality dermatology research. Michelle Oakford won the prize for best registrar presentation with her report on migration of immunocytes across the basement membrane in skin. David Paige gave a highly informative lunchtime session on HIV infection and the skin, based upon the wealth of his experience in this subject area acquired through his work in London. It was particularly useful to learn about the changes in presentation of HIV-related skin disease and the dermatological sideeffect profiles of newer antiretroviral drugs. BAD Executive duties meant I was unable to attend much of the afternoon session but I have it on good authority that the joint BAD / BDNG meeting offered valuable insights into various aspects of wound healing and current techniques for wound management. St. George’s Hall, in its neo-classical glory, offered a stunning backdrop to the annual dinner and dance. Guests were welcomed to the recently refurbished hall with champagne and a rousing organ recital before enjoying a dinner punctuated by a decidedly vociferous master-ofceremonies. Ian GiImore provided a witty after-dinner address before the Mersey Beatles brought the evening to a suitably Liverpudlian climax, churning out a string of Fab Four classics to which guests grooved in a way that only dermatologists and dermatology nurses can.
Friday 4th July
Sadly, Continuing Professional Development does not allow for Independence Day lie-ins for exhausted conference delegates, but the programme was well worth getting up for. Professor Gilmore gave a thought-provoking address about the need to develop good leadership in the medical profession, Catriona Irvine and Richard Motley provided practical surgical tips and updates for the more medically-inclined dermatologist, and the session rounded off with a useful summary of biological therapies for psoriasis given by Catherine Smith. Newly inaugurated BAD President Mark Goodfield brought proceedings to a close with his Presidential Address.
Thanks go to David Shuttleworth and all members of the organising committee, together with Chris Garrett and the BAD conference team for organising such a superb conference. Our grateful thanks also go to the many sponsors whose generous support made the meeting possible.
See you in Glasgow, and do please help to promote DermSchool, next year’s pre-conference session aimed at medical students and junior doctors interested in dermatology. Details to follow…