I was delighted to receive a Registration Scholarship to attend the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting held this year in sunny Orlando, Florida.
High winds in New York and a rescheduled flight almost scuppered plans to arrive in time for the Academy’s International Scholarship reception, but with some last minute luck, I made it to the home of “the magic kingdom.”
Here, we were welcomed by esteemed members of the Academy, including Jean Bolgnia, who mingled at ease with the crowd, despite her celebrity status!
The next morning, the meeting was in full swing with the exhibit hall bustling by 7.30am. The choice and quality of talks on offer was of the highest calibre, with a refreshing focus on clinical pearls and pitfalls from most speakers. Fear of missing out or “AAD FOMO” was the only complaint!
In the first 24 hours alone, I attended a range of talks from neonatal dermatology to updates on neutrophilic dermatoses, emergency cases and wound management. I also took the opportunity to attend 2 courses over the next 3 days in paediatric dermatology and dermatopathology, both of which were very accessible and relevant to daily practice.
Eczema management was a hot topic with crisaborole and dupiliumab in the headlines. Psoriasis didn’t lag far behind however with Cyndi Lauper garnering attention from the discussion of her patient journey on biologic treatment.
The exhibit hall was an ever-present attraction/distraction, however the Irish contingent did manage to focus on the one task of buying lots of dermatoscopes at discounted prices!
A highlight for me was the final day summary presentation from renowned speakers including amongst others, Mark Lebwohl and Darrell Rigel, who covered new developments in infectious diseases, the diagnosis and treatment of melanoma, dermatologic surgery, cosmetic and paediatric dermatology.
I also discovered a way to ease the anxiety of not being in 3 places at the one time by subscribing to the AAD video recordings – finally a means to access all areas from a laptop screen back home!
My thanks to the Irish Association of Dermatologists and to the American Academy of Dermatologists for making this trip possible. I had a fantastic experience and I hope many others will continue to benefit from this educational opportunity in the future.