Academy sending a new message about expertise of specialty

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Dirk M. Elston, MD: “Those outside dermatology do not understand the scope of our specialty, the role we play in reducing the burden of disease, the foundation we provide for all of medicine.”

In a time when it is necessary to communicate the breadth of dermatology to its members, the AAD has been examining ways to communicate the full scope of dermatologists’ expertise. It’s one facet of the Academy’s communications plan aimed at payers, policymakers, the public, and the health care community.

“Those outside dermatology do not understand the scope of our specialty, the role we play in reducing the burden of disease, the foundation we provide for all of medicine,” AAD President Dirk M. Elston, MD, said Aug. 2 during his President’s Address at the Summer Academy Plenary session. “That must change — and is about to change.

“The Academy is recommitting itself to enhanced communications, telling dermatology’s story and communicating the full scope of our expertise.”

Academy members also are experts in cutaneous surgery as well as medical dermatology and dermatopathology, and the Academy is launching a new communications strategy emphasizing everything its members do. The strategy will include new mottos to accompany the Academy’s logo:

  • Excellence in Dermatology
  • Excellence in Dermatologic Surgery
  • Excellence in Medical Dermatology
  • Excellence in Dermatopathology

Images and content that focus visitors’ attention on the full scope of the members’ expertise also will be featured on the Academy’s home page.

“It emphasizes our expertise in cutaneous surgery and all aspects of cutaneous medicine,” Dr. Elston said of the new strategy. “We also are excited to be relaunching Dermatology A to Z, the Academy’s online public resource for information on the full breadth of dermatologic care.”

The message also will be targeted to fellow health care professionals and policymakers to help them understand the full scope of what we do.

“We need to expand our relationships with our referral base. We need to be certain they understand we are the experts in cutaneous surgery,” Dr. Elston said. “We need to ensure that payers and policymakers understand our expertise in dermatopathology and understand the full scope of medical dermatology.

“They need to know that if it’s skin, it’s derm.”

The new emphasis on communicating the role of the specialty also places the Academy in a strong position as more aspects of the Affordable Care Act take effect in 2014.

“So what is a smart medical society to do in this time of change?” Dr. Elston asked. “Plan ahead to be sure we are ready for whatever may come our way, and that’s exactly what your Academy did in May at our health policy strategic retreat.

“We brought together some of best and brightest to plan against scenarios of how health reform might play out and to devise strategies to prepare dermatology for each one. However the changes in our health care delivery system play out, we will be prepared to meet them.”

 

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