ASCD Symposium 2018 Review

For those who missed out on attending the sold out ASCD Symposium 2018 at Crown Conference Centre in September this year, here’s my summary.

The conference kicked off with a warm welcome from convener, 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 were incredibly important.

The next session blew our minds: Dr Ashish Bhatia revealed amazing 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 so impressive – the skin being regrown looked and acted the same as before the deficit was present and the healing time was also reduced.

The Welcome Drinks followed the final presentations of the day and provided everyone with great networking opportunities and the ability to discuss highlights from the day.

The second day 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 and I wish we could bottle her positive energy. We follow @MiniGriz on Instagram and were delighted to meet her in person. She did not disappoint, she absolutely exceeded all our expectations.

There were a couple of stand out female speakers who I must mention; Dr Ava Shamban spoke and won ‘The Complications Cup’ – I thought she was super cool. Also, Dr Tatjana Pavicic who, on day 2, wore her traditional German dress! She was adorable, passionate about her work and did not stop sharing her knowledge all weekend.

The Gala Dinner was at the spectacular Aerial in Southbank, which incorporated all the ingredients of a fabulous Production House event.

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 when treating the face and the nasolabial fold. We also heard from Dr Peter Peng and Dr Tatijana Pavicic again, all speaking on controversies in volumising.

These are my key take-aways from the ASCD symposium:

  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 real faces – no over- lled or frozen faces in sight.
  4. Going blind is not simply bad luck or a bad injector. Safe practice, skill and knowledge of anatomy are imperative.

Nicole Montgomery is the CEO of Trusted Digital Media. www.trusteddigitalmedia.com.au