The Wrap-up of ASCD 2018
For those who missed out on attending the sold out ASCD symposium this year, we have collated our highlights for you. The conference had so much to offer this year with different streams of talks, amazing international line up, and of course the afterhours events, that we have written three separate articles.
The conference kicked off with a warm welcome from convener, Associate Professor Greg Goodman. It was hard to believe this was just the second year of ASCD (from a conference perspective) as the symposium was so well organised and engaging. Day one and we heard from the knowledgeable Dr Peter Peng. His discussion on Artificial Intelligence was an interesting topic so early in the program. I believe all the dermatologists in the room toyed with the question, will I be replaced by a robot? Clearly the next two days and being better then a robot was incredibly important. Dr Peng was adorable, he become very memorable by his introduction, he showed a picture of Peter Pan and himself. He then explained Peter Pan the character “will never grow up” and Peter Peng the dermatologist “will never grow old” or something to this effect. It was very cute, and some light-hearted humour never goes astray.
Alfie and I have been to quite a few conferences and often when you attend multiple conferences within the same field there tends to be some degree of cross over. This was not the case here as the next session blew our minds. Dr Ashish Bhatia revealed the most unbelieve results and techniques in his talk on the future of medicine. He incorporated aesthetic and therapeutic applications for some ground-breaking discoveries. He spoke of new techniques being studied that would revolutionise how wounds would be treated. Instead of grafting skin from a donor site or creating a flap to fix a deficit, it involved coring out micro channels from a donor site and then “spurting” them into the wound. The initial results were amazing. The skin being regrown looked and acted like it always did before the deficit was present. The healing time was also reduced. We both sat in awe of Dr Bhatia and what the future holds.
Both the international and local speakers were of such high calibre, in fact every delegate we spoke to, expressed the same sentiment.
We went on visit the exhibitors and found many companies that we were familiar with from various conferences we attend. We often spend a lot of time interacting with the exhibitors to find out what’s new and being developed. These exhibitors invest heavily to support these organisations and we feel a duty to give back by promoting them and their products. We know first hand the organisation required, cost of investment, and how stressful it is generating leads and building relationships with delegates. Our favourite booth was none other than Skin Ceuticals, Theresa again pulled off a fantastic stand. All the stands were great but what made Skin Ceuticals stand out was George. George was providing live treatments and absolutely radiated enthusiasm, passion and empathy. He drew you in with his contagious charisma and then engaged you with his knowledge. We had never met George before and were so impressed by his clinical knowledge and passion, we did not skip a beat to get the camera out and start filming. There was a great array of companies, Allergan, Merz aesthetics, Galderma, Syneron Candela, Venus Concept and The Skin Care Company. They all had spectacular booths and exuded energy. Venus Concept also had the live demonstrations with the talented Vera doing what she does best.
The welcome drinks followed on from the final discussions and provided everyone with great networking opportunities and the ability to discuss highlights from the day. As it didn’t go to late, it provided an opportunity to get some well-deserved rest. If the next 2 days were going to be like the first day, we needed all the rest we could get.
Day 2 started with us feeling a little rejuvenated after an earlier night. Little did we know we were about to have our socks blown off. Grizina Fechner is like a whirlwind of positive energy, I wish we could bottle her energy. We follow @MiniGriz on Instagram and were delighted to meet her in person. She did not disappoint, she absolutely exceeded all our expectations. I never believed in online dating or finding like minded friends online. Generally, we only put online the best of our lives or the life we want to portray, but Griz was an online stalking affair, turned genuine awesome chick. If ever you have met a celebrity or someone you admire in person and thought “hmm, they are not as perfect and amazing as I thought” you will understand. Griz was better than perfect, she was real, she was energetic, she was smart but approachable and drop dead gorgeous. I want to be a Griz!
There were a couple of stand out female speakers who we must mention, Dr Ava Shamban spoke and won “The Complications Cup” she was super cool. Also, Dr Tatjana Pavicic who on day two wore her traditional German dress, she was adorable, passionate about her work and did not stop sharing her knowledge all weekend. In relation to injectables, we learnt from Dr Pavicic, ‘Always practice on a cadaver first’ makes perfect sense, although not sure this is common practice.
The Gala dinner was at the spectacular Aerial in Southbank, which incorporated all the ingredients of a fabulous production house event. Alfie was first on the dance floor, but not for long. Within seconds the floor was full, and the delegates were letting their hair down (except Alfie) lol.
The final day was not for those with a hangover as the quality of content continued. The production house team had everyone covered with their Berocca stand. Dr Mark Magnusson spoke twice on problem areas and the nasolabial fold. We also heard from Dr Peter Peng and Dr Tatijana Pavicic all speaking on controversies in volumizing.
We had a few key take-away’s from ASCD:
1.Never have “made to order” filler, always find an injector who can analyse your whole face and tell you what you need.
2.There are no safe zones in injecting – nothing will ever beat safe practice.
3.Dermatology conferences consist of normal faces (no over filled or frozen faces in sight).
4.Going blind is not simply bad luck or a bad injector. Safe practice, skill and knowledge of anatomy is imperative. Cosmetic’s is not all pretty faces, some are very scary.
We would highly recommend attending the ASCD conference next year as an Exhibitor, Speaker and/or Delegate. The symposium will be held in Sydney next year and I’m sure will be bigger than this year with equally as talented speakers. Hopefully we see the same local speakers again too.