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Ricky Hipolito, MD, FPDS
40th PDS ANNUAL CONVENTION, 65th “Blue Sapphire” PDS Anniversary
PDS@65: Rediscovering and Reinforcing Dermatologic Skills and Knowledge
November 8-10, 2017. EDSA Shangri-la Hotel, Mandaluyong City
True to this year’s convention theme, the outpour of knowledge, shared unselfishly by the roster of speakers, came as a binding force to rediscover and reinforce ourselves as dermatologists. As always, the dynamic PDS Organizing Committee did not disappoint, ably chaired by Dr. Ma. Purita Paz-Lao. Perpetuo Gutierrez Lecturer and Past PDS President Dr. Ma. Teresita G. Gabriel, PDS President Dr. Ma. Angela M. Lavadia and the whole PDS Board lent their full support to the team, leading to a triumphant event.
Discussed were an interesting mix of updates on well known subjects and equally motivating new topics. Morning sessions of Day One were truthfully gems of procedural dermatology. It was a revisit to what we may have already known and a stretch to new areas we wish to know and apply in our daily practice, expertly delivered by our very own PDS members. Interesting techniques on blocks for the scalp, face, hand and feet proved to be viable to have a successful and peaceful dermatologic procedure. Methods of biopsies for hard areas like the scalp and nails were reassessed and made easier to our eyes. Better ways in suturing was a treasure, too. Approach to scars, whether from acne or post-surgery were delved into, giving us options to choose from. Management of hyperpigmentation thru layered chemical peel and iontophoresis opened our thoughts on these methods. Various techniques on fillers, toxins and lasers for cosmetic concerns added another horizon we can utilize for our patients. Even genital warts’ treatment came as a timely reminder of our active role in dealing with this infectious disease. The Plenary Sessions later that afternoon welcomed our internationally renowned speakers, Dr. Suzanne Olbricht, President-elect of the American Academy of Dermatology and Dr. Rataporn Ungpakorn, Vice-President for Internal Affairs of the Dermatological Society of Thailand. Dr. Olbricht, after giving an update on AAD’s international relations, shared her insights on skin cancer and the surgical approach, emphasizing on the effectiveness of Moh’s surgery. Dr. Ungpakorn, on the other hand, delivered a very enticing talk on mycology: what appears simple, may not all be that simple. Capping the day was the prestigious Perpetuo Gutierrez Memorial Lecture, delivered by our beloved past PDS President, Dr. Ma. Teresita G. Gabriel. She tapped everyone’s heart and mind with the thought that everyone can be a leader as long as you lead a life of sincerity topped with humility and truthfulness.
Day Two was another day filled with information, making our brainwaves bounce in all directions. Dermatologic tools focused on dermoscopy, histopathology, old school diascopy and smears and even cranial neuroimaging that we learned have a place in our diagnostic bag. Therapeutic guidelines on acne, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, fungal infections and the use of vaccines and antibiotics were expounded and related to our clinical practice. Special concerns on pregnancy, pediatrics, geriatrics, sports, leprosy and complementary medicine raised the bar on the role, we, as dermatologists, must partake on these matters. Dr. Kevin Fickensher, one of our international guests, talked on the digital transformation of dermatology, paving the road we are soon to take in the world of telecare. Completing our advancement, not only in knowledge, but also in professional development, were timely discourses on personal image projection, medical ethics, competence, compassion and empathy. We were reminded that as we focus on carrying ourselves well in this world, projecting the best of ourselves in front of everyone, we must never forget to remain humane on our dealings with our colleagues and with our patients, most especially. From the perspective of a new dermatologist, these topics were extremely helpful. It makes our feet planted on the ground. Starting a practice demands so much time and with these guidelines and reminders, it will make our goals more steadfast and focused.
Opening the last day was a lively encounter with none other than Dr. Enrique Tayag, who has always been a player in the government’s role in promoting health for the Filipino populace. The morning also paved the way in welcoming our graduates, internationally successful in their own rights and involved in several training hospitals abroad. Through facts and experiences, they unselfishly shed light on various topics such as medical dermatology, dermatopathology, dermatologic surgery and cosmetic procedures. It was a welcome sight to see and hear them conquer the stage, after being away for so long and carving their niche in foreign lands. Ending the 3-day convention was our yearly business meeting, Not only did this assembly provided a room for us to hear what PDS has been doing for the past year, but more importantly, it allowed us to hear what the membership had to say.
As a young member of the society, I was a witness to how the annual convention was conducted, from the registration to how the speakers and their talks were chosen with care and consideration. And I can only conclude that the feat was gargantuan. From my eyes, it was an overwhelming SUCCESS and I think my colleagues will not disagree – we are anticipating next year’s PDS Convention, this time in collaboration with the International Society of Dermatology!