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#GoalAchieved: First CME of the Year
by: Marie Len A. Camaclang


Last January 25, 2017, the first Continuing Medical Education (CME) for the year, entitled ‘Dermatology: An Evolving Art based on Absolute Science,’ hosted by the UP-PGH , Section of Dermatology, in cooperation with the PDS Research Committee, was held at the Marco Polo Hotel, Ortigas, Manila.


The event was the first of the monthly conferences of the Philippine Dermatological Society. In the spirit of tradition, the new first year residents of the PDS training institutions were officially welcomed and recognized, headed by the PDS secretary, Dr. Cecilia Rosete. A chorale number from the SkinTones, a group of talented singers comprised of consultants and residents from the UP-PGH Section of Dermatology, graced the stage with their rendition of the song “Love is the answer.” The CME was formally opened by a welcoming remarks from the host’s section chief, Dr. Ma. Lorna Frez, who also delivered the first lecture entitled, “#RelationshipGoals: Establishing Rapport with your patients.” The enlightening lecture focused on the importance of an open communication with patients through active listening, valuing appearance and punctuality, and understanding verbal and non-verbal cues. It also delved on empathic approach in order to meet patient satisfaction.  It was then followed by an informative lecture from Dr. Belen Dofitas, a renowned physician in dermatologic research, and currently the coordinator of research for the UP-PGH Section of Dermatology. The second lecture was entitled, “#ResearchGoals: Research Tools at your fingertips,” which tackled how research has evolved with technology and how a variety of new online tools can aid in protocol writing, data collection, analysis, and writing the manuscript. These practical tips include the use of online resources for randomization, sample size calculation, clinical tools such as PASI, SCORAD and BSA, and websites for online surveys and detection of plagiarism.  These lectures were followed by an open forum. The awarding of certificates was led by the PDS chair, Dr. Ma. Angela Lavadia, along with former PDS presidents and Section chiefs, Dr. Francisca Roa and Dr. Georgina Pastorfide. The event was formally ended by a closing remarks from the PDS chair, Dr. Ma. Angela Lavadia.


The event marked many firsts for the Philippine Dermatological Society. Not only was it the first monthly conference, it was the first to have a webcast coverage. Besides the consultants and residents who were physically present, a total of 55 consultants “virtually attended” the CME. Another first was the utility of PigeonHole, an online interactive platform catering to forums, enabling listeners to input questions on the delivered topics. During the open forum, the lecturers answered questions, not only from the audience, but also from questions entered through the PigeonHole. The live online streaming and the PigeonHole, were both made possible through an educational grant from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).


Despite minor technical glitches related to the first-ever webcast coverage, the first CME has been a success. From the artistic centerpieces, engaging introductory videos and entertaining song number, to the intellectually stimulating discussions and interactive Q&A delivered by distinguished dermatologists and members of the PDS, it has truly been a delightful play of art and science. There is indeed art both in patient interaction and in research making. As dermatologists, the first CME serves as a reminder not only to equip ourselves with the scientific knowledge and skills needed to be the best doctors for our patients, but also to create and inspire–from the small act of holding a patient’s hand to reach out, to large-scale commitment of engaging in worthwhile research–all with the holistic goal of addressing the burden of skin disease, as well as improving the patient’s quality of life.

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