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89th Annual Meeting of the British Association of Dermatologists

The 89th Annual Meeting of the British Association of Dermatologists took place at Glasgow SECC 7th - 10th July 2009.

Report by Sameh Zaghloul (Leeds)

Dear all, I am pleased to welcome you to the first report on the BAD annual conference by a SAS doctor. SASs form one of the most important foundation brick layers of dermatology, and this year gave greater recognition to this group by beginning with a pre-conference session for SAS doctors, something the trainees have long received before us! Our inclusion was the fruit of long and sustained efforts and although this is a significant achievement, it is all owed to the constant perseverance and dedication of Sue Jackson whom we all thank for this. She has worked extremely hard on our behalf and I hope that we can build on her achievements.

The 89th Annual Meeting of the BAD took place at Glasgow’s Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), a superbly suitable location to hold the most important dermatology event of the year.

Our first BAD pre-conference SAS training session, which took place on the first day, was a great success.

For the first part of the session, Nick Levell presented an enjoyable journey through the history of dermatology and it is surprising to know that the first UK dermatologist was a SAS!! This was followed by a session focusing on various up-to-date tips on the diagnosisand management of a variety ofchildhood dermatological diseasespresented by Sue Lewis-Jones, anddemonstrated via clinical scenariosof subjects. Mark Wilkinson gavean overview of medicament allergycausing contact dermatitis that can be frequently unrecognised, how prevention of contact allergy to medicaments is possible along with advice regarding prescribing practices for skin disease. A talk from Rob Lister emphasized how important it is for clinicians to be mindful of potential clinicopathological pitfalls and to be in regular dialogue with their pathologists to increase the chance of patients getting the correct diagnosis, along with the potential effect of these practices on management and the prognosis given to the patient.

As always, Richard Motley gave a fantastically useful session on ‘Top tips and what’s hot and what’s not in dermatological surgery’ comprising interesting surgical tips including how to make a scar invisible and scar revision. Finally the session ended with an introduction on the use of Phototherapy for the treatment of various skin diseases by Sally Ibbotson. We thank Glenda Hill for her fantastic efforts at organising this stimulating session that went along swiftly and smoothly, and we look forward to the repeat of this next year.

By the second day the main BAD conference had started with the clinicopathological cases presented in the Clyde Auditorium followed by four lunchtime focus sessions. Professor Judy Breuer presented a guest lecture on Varicella zoster virus (VZV) and explained how VZV replicates in the skin. The scientific session was concluded by a guest lecture presented by Professor Filippa Nyberg on Gender and autoimmune diseases demonstrating that a basic understanding of the pathophysiology behind sex differences in autoimmune diseases and an awareness of gender is necessary for dermatologists investigating and treating diseases such as lupus. Later that evening, the Presidents’ reception was held in the Glasgow Science Centre.

On the following day, the morning’s scientific session comprised of submitted papers focusing on a variety of areas from the development in community dermatology service to Clinical Assessment and Treatment Services (CATS). The morning’s session was concluded with Professor Paul Emery’s interesting guest lecture on rheumatoid arthritis along with advances in treatment and the availability of new agents that further advance therapeutic possibilities. The afternoon’s scientific session featured a strong Medical Dermatology theme, with lectures by Professor Andrew Ness on the risks and benefits of exposure to sunlight and Dr Ray Fox on HIV and the skin. The sports competition and the British Skin Foundation walk were held on Wednesday late afternoon.

Nearly the end of the week, and Thursday was full of not-to-miss discussions provided in the Professors’ and Registrars’ forum. The update on the UK Dermatology Clinical Trials Network was particularly interesting and was followed by various talks focusing on Psoriasis. The morning session ended with a guest lecture presented by Professor Donald Leung on the Immunology of Atopic Dermatitis providing an overview of new research in the field, as well as tips scientists and physicians can get from this disease. How interactions between skin barrier dysfunction, abnormal innate, and adaptive immune responses contribute to the pathobiology of atopic dermatitis were highlighted. The afternoon witnessed a joint meeting between the BAD and the BDNG discussing the future of nurse consultant role and other nurse-related issues in addition to the current NICE guidelines for the management of Atopic Eczema in children. This was followed by a distinctive talk on ‘Ethnic Dermatology: clinical problems and pigmented skin’ presented by Clive Archer. The Annual Dinner and dance this year were held in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, I am sure that all of those who attended will agree that it was certainly a memorable and beautiful evening not to be forgotten!

Those who stayed the course could enjoy the Friday morning CPD meeting, with an inspiring guest lecture by Professor Kenneth Calman presenting the history and development of medical education and suggestions for improvements and consideration to maintain professionalism; a vital lecture that was worth attending. This was followed by Richard Motley giving a rich account of new developments in Surgical Dermatology. Professor Chris Zachary gave a splendid guest lecture on new advances in cosmetic surgery based on his wealth of experience. The morning concluded with Mark Goodfield’s President Address.

We thank all those who contributed to the organisation of this year’s fantastic conference week, whether it is the BAD conference staff, generous sponsors, or members of the organising committee.

I am delighted to inform you all that our presence in the BAD is not only restricted to our BAD SAS sub-committee, but that there are now SAS representatives on various other BAD sub-committees. Also, the BAD proposed changes in the manner that SASs can apply to become full members. I believe that our first BAD pre-conference training session in July 2009 was a real start for us in the way to building up our professional development plan, which we should invest in and insist to continue on the same standards of quality. We have now set the stepping stone and we hope to continue to further develop and improve as we must work hard to further assert our presence in the profession as well as improve our future careers. Moreover, it is the time now that one of our primary aims should be to achieve excellence in practice. This could be met by developing our practice perfection methods to present a role model of how a doctor’s practice both individually and within the team context should be, in addition to aspiring the “point-of-care” learning which endorses, includes and reflects the opportunities for learning in clinical practice.

Finally, we can not ignore that our first BAD SAS session and our new recognition were initiated during the BAD presidency of Dr Mark Goodfield and the fabulous supporting leading team; we are grateful for their support and committed leadership.

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