Traveling classrooms: Visiting Professors share expertise with dermatology residents
Nov. 10, 2012, Rolling Meadows, Ill. — Dr. Thomas Rohrer and Dr. Harold Brody took their dermatologic surgical skills on the road recently as part of the Visiting Professor program, a new initiative of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) with the goal of providing support to residency training programs across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.
Both felt invigorated and inspired following their stays as visiting professors, with Dr. Rohrer traveling from Chestnut Hill, Mass., to Indiana University School of Medicine’s Department of Dermatology in May and Dr. Brody traveling from Atlanta to the University of Missouri’s Department of Dermatology in June.
Those in the Indiana classroom seats had an opportunity to glean practical treatment pearls about fillers and hear Dr. Rohrer’s expertise on beauty and aging. In Missouri, residents were treated to presentations about chemical peeling and silicone, followed by hands-on patient peels under the watchful eye of Dr. Brody.
“The best thing about the Visiting Professor program is connecting to a new or different group of residents,” said Dr. Rohrer. “It was enjoyable to see how they view dermatologic surgery and for me to find out what I could bring to the program to help round out their education. Since not all residents are able to attend the ASDS Annual Meeting, the Visiting Professor program allows a small part of the meeting to come to them.”
The Visiting Professor program was developed because dermatologic surgery is an ever-changing field filled with new technologies and techniques.
“The ASDS recognizes all of the demands facing today’s residency training programs: curriculum requirements, funding challenges and for some, limited outside educational opportunities,” said Dr. Susan Weinkle, president of the ASDS. “Visiting Professors can enhance the educational experience of dermatology residents by offering exposure to new case examples as well as procedures and techniques that are critical to the daily practice upon completion of their residencies.”
“For the residents, the best thing about the program is exposure to someone new who comes at the same sort of issues from a slightly different angle,” said Dr. Rohrer. “Education is all about sharing ideas, and learning is always a two-way street.”
Indiana University’s chief resident, Dr. Swetha Kandula, said Dr. Rohrer was easy to understand as he spoke about various cosmetic procedures, adding that her school “values well-trained, experienced clinicians” to help educate residents, faculty and staff.
“Dr. Rohrer taught us how he does Botox and fillers. He gave us lots of practical pearls – such as size of needles and Botox concentrations, how to minimize pain, and how to hold mirrors. He explained it in plain language – and that’s hard to do with dermatologic surgery,” said Dr. Kandula. “Honestly, the ASDS should be commended because it’s pretty nice that they’re doing this for the residents and the teaching programs.”
Dr. Rohrer’s two lectures were attended by residents, students, Indiana University faculty and community faculty. “The biggest takeaway from this program is that great things are happening everywhere. It was nice to see this program at Indiana, where I had never been, and how many wonderful faculty and how many bright and motivated students are there,” he said.
In Missouri, Chief Resident Dr. Whitney Hovenic (who also serves as one of the ASDS Resident Representatives to the Board of Directors) organized Dr. Brody’s visit to the University of Missouri’s Department of Dermatology.
“Dr. Brody’s visit brought an excitement about chemical peeling and its use for both medical and cosmetic conditions. As residents, we had had very limited experience with chemical peeling, a technique with which all dermatologists should be familiar,” said Dr. Hovenic.
The best part of the ASDS Visiting Professor program is the “opportunity to learn from an expert dermatologic surgeon in a small forum where you are freely able to learn about procedures, gain hands-on experience and ask questions,” she said. “As a resident, it is phenomenal to learn from a leader in the field – literally the guy who wrote the textbook – and be able to both watch his technique and then have him supervise you in the procedure.”
Dr. Brody said the University of Missouri “did it exactly right.” As the school’s department is small, he said it is ideally suited for the Visiting Professor program. “They feel much better about combination chemical peels and learned about silicone. They let me talk on all of this and peeled under my guidance. The department was enthusiastic. They will now institute peeling,” he said.
The Visiting Professor program, overseen by the ASDS Educational Exchange Work Group, offers specialists in both the reconstructive domain and the cosmetic domain. The intended outcomes are that residents will vastly expand their knowledge and understanding of key topics, differing techniques and an expanded realm of case exposure. Residents can benefit from exposure to expertise in dermatologic surgery from outside of the faculty, and learn from the expert’s case examples and curriculum. In addition to learning directly from renowned experts, they can find out about new and upcoming treatments and techniques.
Overall, the goal of this program is to foster improved competence, increased performance in practice and improved patient outcomes, and to further the specialty of dermatologic surgery.
The Visiting Professor Program was initiated because the ASDS often receives requests from residents across the country who would like added exposure to procedures beyond what’s taught in their own residency programs, said Susan Weinkle, MD, President of the ASDS.
“Today’s practitioner must be equipped to handle increasing patient demand for anti-aging, body sculpting and other cosmetic procedures,” said Dr. Weinkle. “The Visiting Professor Program gives dermatology residency programs the opportunity to invite the experts in these areas of dermatologic surgery to demonstrate procedures and deliver lectures.”
Each visit lasts from one to three days, and each residency program is entitled to one Visiting Professor per calendar year. Training Program Directors can issue invitations directly to their choice of Visiting Professors. There is no cost to the institution.
The ASDS provides Visiting Professors with a stipend to offset the cost of their travel (each can visit up to three sites per year). The program is being supported in part by P&G, Merz, Ethicon, Lumenis and Kythera.
This year’s Visiting Professors and their areas of expertise are:
• R. Rox Anderson, MD – Lasers
• Harold J. Brody, MD – Chemical peeling for photo aging and scarring; microdroplet silicone for scarring and HIV lipoatrophy
• Alastair Carruthers, MD, FRCPC – Injectables; cosmetic procedures
• Mitchel P. Goldman, MD – Phlebology; vein surgery; sclerotherapy; laser surgery
• Jeffrey A. Klein, MD, MPH – Tumescent local anesthesia; tumescent liposuction
• E. Victor Ross, MD – Laser basic science and applications
• Thomas E. Rohrer, MD – Procedural dermatology; Mohs; reconstruction; laser treatments; filler injections; neuromodulator injections
Visit requests are filled on a first-come, first-served basis with priority given to offering visits in different geographic locations. Visits are already scheduled in 2012 at the University of Iowa, Loyola University, Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Ohio State University and Cleveland Clinic.
Visit www.asds.net/visiting-professor to view each Visiting Professor’s contact information.
About the ASDS
The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) is the largest specialty organization exclusively representing dermatologic surgeons who have unique training and experience to treat the health, function and beauty of your skin. ASDS members are pioneers in the field. Many are involved in the clinical studies that bring treatments to revitalize skin and fill and diminish wrinkles to the forefront. Their work has helped create and enhance many of the devices that remove blemishes, hair and fat, and tighten skin. Dermatologic surgeons are also experts in skin cancer prevention, detection and treatment. As the incidence of skin cancer rises, dermatologic surgeons are committed to taking steps to minimize the life-threatening effects of this disease. For more information, visit www.asds.net.
American Society for Dermatologic Surgery