Create proper balance between Clinical Dermatology and Aesthetic Dermatology-Prof. T. S. Haroon


 SARCD & PADCON attracts over 1200 delegates from 15 countries

Create proper balance between Clinical Dermatology
and Aesthetic Dermatology-Prof. T. S. Haroon

We need to formulate ethical guidelines
for practice of dermatology

Professionalism and Ethical practice including patient welfare,
patient autonomy and social justice should always
be kept in mind - Prof.Khalid Masood Gondal

LAHORE: The practice of dermatology is no more limited to pen and paper as a plethora of new interventions i.e. lasers, Botox, fillers, thread treatment and PRP have been added to our therapeutic armamentarium. The axis of interest is fast shifting from conventional clinical dermatology to aesthetic dermatology but we need to create a proper balance between the two. This was stated by Prof. Tahir Saeed Haroon an eminent dermatologist who in collaboration with his colleagues got the discipline of dermatology recognized in the country for which he is known as the Father of Dermatology in Pakistan. He was addressing the inaugural session of 10th SAARC Regional Conference of Dermatology and 36th annual conference of Pakistan Association of Dermatologists held here from November 17-19, 2017. This was the second SAARC Conference of Dermatology held in Pakistan which attracted over twelve hundred delegates from all over the country besides foreign delegates from fifteen countries including United States, Europe and Australia besides the SAARC countries. In recognition of his services to promote the discipline of dermatology in Pakistan, he was named as Patron of the conference and was also presented the Life Time Achievement Award on this occasion. The theme of the conference was Chartering the Course to Excellence in Dermatology.

Prof. Tahir Saeed Haroon

Prof. Tahir Saeed Haroon thanked the organizers for giving him this honour and stated that he was immensely pleased to address this distinguished leaders of dermatology- a group that is committed to attaining the highest standard of dermatological health in this region. We are delighted to welcome the SAARC country delegates to Lahore once again after ten years. Recalling the history of PAD Prof.T.S.Haroon said that since its inception in 1979, PAD family has now extended to over six hundred members all over Pakistan and some of them working abroad. He recalled that when PAD was founded there were just three chairs of dermatology at King Edward Medical College, Lahore, Dow Medical College Karachi and Nishtar Medical College Multan. There was inadequate postgraduate training programme in dermatology due to scarcity of teachers and resources. In these circumstances we must appreciate the instrumental role played by College of Physicians & Surgeons of Pakistan to make up this deficiency. It was Dr. Nusrat Ali Sheikh and Prof.Ghulam Shabbir who started MCPS in dermatology in 1976, FCPS in dermatology began in 1986 and the first fellow qualified in 1990. This journey of success, Prof.Tahir Saeed Haroon further stated continued and now in 2017, we have around six hundred PAD members of whom 80% possesses qualifications from CPSP. At present we have over two hundred FCPS, over two hundred MCPS, thirty MD in dermatology besides dermatologists with qualifications from UK and Thailand.  Now more than 80% of public sector institutions and many private medical colleges have Professorial Chairs in dermatology. Currently there are forty Professorial chairs and 60% of these incumbents are my trainees, he remarked.

He reminded his colleagues that ethical aspects of dermatological practice are of paramount importance. Guidelines need to be developed to ensure that we faithfully follow them and must not focus on the monetary interests alone. Dermatology, he further stated, is a very dynamic field and workshops for latest updates are the backbone of this specialty. It is very heartening to note that PAD has been holding regular CME programmes and hands on workshops in various cities all over Pakistan which has proved to be of immense success among the students, fellow dermatologists and family physicians. CPSP and other stakeholders have also incorporated newer techniques in postgraduate curriculum. Quality assurance and standardized training is ensured on regular basis by different examining bodies. Continuing Prof.T.S. Haroon said that we all recognize the importance of research in the field of dermatology and there was a need to encourage research based activities.  PAD and SARAD need to play a pivotal role and collaborate in training programmes. We along with other member countries should work together to develop guidelines for different diseases in dermatology specific to our region. As health leaders of this region you have a very important and significant role. This ambitious agenda calls for serious commitment and together we can meet again in the future, confident in the knowledge that we have done everything we could to reduce the burden of dermatological diseases across the region, he concluded.

Prof. Khalid Masood Gondal Vice Chancellor of Fatima Jinnah Medical University who is also Senior Vice President of CPSP was the chief guest on this occasion. Addressing the participants he highlighted the importance of professionalism and ethics. Medicine, he recalled, was known as a noble profession because of the trust of public and society which expects us to follow ethical principles. It is the devotion of the healthcare professionals which makes them trustworthy. Welfare of the patients, patient autonomy and social justice ensuring judicious use of resources keeping in view the needs of all patients was important. While teaching and training, we all must keep in mind the above principles. Currently there are 284 Fellows, 354 Members and five hundred trainees registered in dermatology. CPSP has state of the art video conferencing facilities linked to its fourteen regional centers and PAD can make use of these facilities for its academic activities, he added.

Earlier Prof. Ijaz Hussain Chairman of the organizing committee in his welcome address stated that the conference has attracted over twelve hundred delegates from fifteen countries including USA, Europe and Australia besides SAARC countries. He commended the team work displayed by the members of the organizing committee. Scientific programme of the conference, he said, was a blend of clinical dermatology and aesthetic dermatology.

Prof. Syed Azam Bukhari President of PAD in his speech said that during the current year PAD organized twenty clinical meetings on clinical dermatology and aesthetic cosmetic dermatology, seminars on clinical dermatology in different institutions all over Pakistan as demanded by the postgraduates. PAD also celebrated World Leprosy Day and Psoriasis Day. We also organized 63 medical camps. He also disclosed that PAD was planning to start Fellowships in Interventional Dermatology, Dermato Pathology and Paediatric Dermatology.

Dr. Jayadev Betkerur Secretary General of SARAD said that SARAD  organizes its conference every two years and we are putting our efforts  to get is recognized by SAARC Secretariat which  will help delegates from member countries to attend these conferences without much problems. We also invite two postgraduates from each country at our meeting which is nominated by the respective national organizations.

Prof.Anil Kumar from Nepal in his speech said that organizing the conference should be a part of the agenda but we must go beyond that. We the academicians should do our job and let the politicians solve the political issues. Using advances in information technology, we can collaborate in academics. We also need to establish SAARC Institute of Dermatology; we can have Tele Dermatology programmes, virtual teaching and training sessions.

Brig. Asher Ahmad Mashood General Secretary of PAD in his annual report pointed out that dermatology was no more limited to fifty diseases and five ointments. Gone are the days when it used to be said that when you know when to use steroids and when not, you become a dermatologist. We need to keep the Flag of Clinical Dermatology high. We have left the plastic surgeons far behind. When PAD was formed, it had 35 members but today its membership was over six hundred. PAD organized its first conference in 1982. We had sixteen major clinical events this year. Dermatologists are involved in hair transplants and even dermatologists are now also working at some District Headquarters Hospital.

Scientific programme of the conference was spread over numerous sessions which included Keynote presentations, symposia on Hair Restoration, Energy Based Devices in Dermatology, Seminar on Aesthetics, Management of Acne Scars, Numerous Workshops, Live demonstrations, Session on Common Skin Disorders. Other important issues which were highlighted in the conference included Ethics in dermatological practice, Teaching and Training in Paediatric Dermatology, Seminar on Psoriasis, special sessions devoted to Thread Lift, PCL Threads, and Hands on training in Botox, Fillers and Threads, Botox intoxication. Prof. Azam Bukhari was also presented Life Time Achievement Award on this occasion while guests and organizers were presented mementoes.  Detailed reports on some of these presentations to follow.