The start of the World Congress of Dermatology in Vancouver this June is the perfect occasion for all of us in the field to come together and celebrate advancements in dermatology.
The first World Congress of Dermatology – the WCD for insiders – was held in 1889 at the Saint-Louis Hospital, Paris, but it was in 1930, when the International League of Dermatology Societies (ILDS) was created, that the longevity of this key event was ensured. There is no doubt that from this single event, a strong sense of unity within the global dermatology community was forged and this has continued to develop over the decades. Today, the four-yearly WCD is still a unique opportunity for the dermatology community to exchange projects and ideas.
Indeed unity is perhaps the keystone, one of the strengths of dermatology today, just as serving the patient is ourraison d’être. As our aim is to research and develop the most relevant medical solutions for patients, we need to understand their needs. No one understands patient needs better than the dermatologists who treat them. By partnering with healthcare professionals around the world, we can better serve this common goal. Likewise, our privileged relationship with dermatologists allows us to empower them with the knowledge, resources and solutions health care professionals need to maintain and enhance healthy skin while treating and restoring compromised skin to its healthy state.
This partnership takes on another dimension in the current economic context. With cuts in research funding and questions about business models, the consequences for our specialty could be far-reaching. To preserve the future of dermatology, industry, the practicing dermatologists and academia need to work together to ensure that research is efficient and produces ground-breaking results that meet the needs of physicians around the world. We need to arouse curiosity for dermatology and to encourage medical students to choose this path through specific initiatives, like internships. Such initiatives are already in place at our R&D sites and activities.
As I walk around the Vancouver Congress Center talking to people from all over the world who, like me, are passionate about the science of skin, hair and nails, I know that I have a lot to learn. I know we are just scratching the surface of this science. I am eager to develop it further. I am eager to enhance the lives of people with skin, hair and nail needs. I know that our Galderma experts will also share their knowledge and that these exchanges will generate new ideas and lead to new ways of working together to constantly provide new medical solutions. Let us continue to follow the example of the ILDS and work together to shape the future.
Let’s celebrate dermatology!