2020 Top U.S. Dermatology Conferences You Can’t Miss
Earn CMEs, Network and Learn About The Top Products at These Top Dermatology Meetings
This blog was originally published on June 27, 2019 and updated on February 4, 2020.
For a busy dermatologist, it can seem hard to justify taking time away from the office to attend a conference. However, the knowledge you can gain there—and put into practice to help improve operations and patient care—can make it well worth your while.
Plus, a dermatology conference can provide a valuable opportunity to complete CME hours while networking with peers and seeing the latest advances in dermatology tech.
But how do you know which conferences may benefit you and your practice the most? With so many options out there to choose from, trying to evaluate them all can be a bit overwhelming.
To make it easier, we’ve put together a list of our top 10 dermatology conferences for 2020, along with some guidance on how to make your conference trip worthwhile.
Tips for Attending Dermatology Meetings
By and large, the most important tip to remember is to have a careful plan of attack. For everything from which sessions to attend to how you’ll take notes, thinking it through before you go can help you get the greatest benefit when you come back.
To start, make a list of the following:
- What you’d like to learn and how you’d like to implement it to improve your practice (e.g., increasing patient volume or trying new psoriasis treatments)
- What kind of connections you’d like to build (e.g., peer providers, academics, thought leaders, vendor support staff)
- What types of products or services you’d like to look at (e.g., EHR software, dermoscopes or dermatology billing services)
Once you’ve defined your goals, look at the upcoming dermatology conferences and choose one that aligns with them. From there, you can research the lectures and speakers and carefully plan out which sessions to attend to help you achieve your goals.
In addition, you can do research on conference attendees and reach out to people you’d like to connect with. Plus, identify which vendors you’d like to visit and map out a path through the exhibit hall.
Also, consider what format will be best for taking notes that you’ll actually be able to implement later. Instead of writing down everything you hear (which can be tempting when you’re bombarded with new information), write down only what will be most valuable to you back home. Conferences often send out the presenter’s slides afterward, which can save you from taking so many notes.
And to make it easier to find specific information in your notes, consider creating a section for each of your learning goals, such as “improving office communication” or “treating difficult melanoma cases” or “attracting new patients.”
Together, these strategies can help you retain your knowledge in a usable format rather than forcing you to flip through dozens of pages that are organized only by the chronological order in which you attended the sessions.
Scheduling Appointments With Vendors
As you look over the exhibitor list, you may find that there are quite a few booths you’d like to visit. Even if you’re not looking to buy, it can be very helpful just to see what’s out there, and it gives you some perspective on how your practice’s current tools and services stack up to competitors.
But at a busy conference, especially during peak times, booths can fill up and you may have to wait in line just to speak with a vendor representative. This isn’t ideal if you’re looking to make the most of your time in the exhibit hall.
So what’s the answer? If possible, make booth appointments with vendors ahead of time. Many offer this functionality on their website, or you can simply request a demo online and add a note that you’d like to speak with them during the upcoming dermatology conference.
Networking Events: Should You Go?
The simple answer is yes.
The potential benefits of networking are extensive. You never know what business opportunities might open up when you meet the right person or what you may be able to learn from them.
For instance, perhaps a fellow provider has come across a practice workflow issue or difficult-to-treat patient similar to one you’ve encountered. They may be able to tell you about a novel way in which they solved it and that you can emulate—or vice versa.
Also, if you’re considering making a foray into another area of the industry, speaking to someone with relevant experience can help you decide whether to pursue it and what strategies to follow if you do.
For instance, if you’re thinking about starting your own dermatology practice, a veteran practice owner might tell you that she loves it because of the independence it offers, despite the financial challenges. During your conversation, she might also share that she’s found it best to leave extra exam rooms unfurnished if you’re not using them yet.
Or, if you’re looking to add cosmetic procedures to your repertoire, a fellow dermatologist with a patient base similar to yours might be able to tell you which of her services have proven to be the most popular.
Nervous about networking because you’re generally a shy person? Prepare some conversation starter topics, questions and networking objectives before you go in, and you might be surprised at just how much easier it makes starting conversations.
Top 10 Dermatology Conferences 2020
When: March 20-24, 2020
Where: Denver, CO
2020 session topics include:
- How to Create an Unforgettably Positive Patient Experience
- Dermatological Emergencies: The Skin As A Sentinel
- Treating Severe Skin Disease in Children
- Dermatology in Rural America
- Data-Driven Dermatology: Who Will Define Our Specialty and How?
With over 400 exhibitors, the AAD annual meeting provides unparallelled opportunities to explore new dermatology solutions and touch base with vendors. And as the largest US dermatology congress of the year, it provides a tremendous variety of workshops, focus sessions, discussion groups, forums, CME courses, symposia and networking opportunities.
When: August 13 – 16, 2020
Where: Seattle, WA
2020 schedule and topics are still pending. Those interested in attending can expect details to appear on the AAD Innovation Academy website soon.
Some of the 2019 courses included:
- Comprehensive Approach to Neuromodulators & Fillers in 2019
- Physician Safety: Protecting the Caregiver in Violent Times
- Advanced Systemic Therapeutics
- Hot Topics in Medical Dermatology
- Sweat Matters
Formerly called the AAD Summer Meeting, AAD’s Innovation Academy offers opportunities to learn about the latest dermatology advances and network with colleagues in a relaxed atmosphere. Plus, their exhibit hall features over 140 companies, including equipment/devices, healthcare IT, pharmaceuticals, publishing and recruiting, and more.
When: October 8-11, 2020
Where: National Harbor, MD
This upcoming dermatology conference in 2020 features evidenced-based innovations in clinical practice, patient demonstrations, hands-on workshops, oral abstracts, an entrepreneurial innovation summit, a robust practice management track and a cosmeceutical bar. You’ll also have access to networking opportunities and vendor exhibits to help you gain tools, insights and inspiration that can help improve your practice. Check their website to see their 2020 courses which have not yet been announced.
When: April 23 – 26, 2020
Where: Nashville, TN
2020 dermatology courses include:
- Hand and Nail Workshop
- Advice from the Experts for New-to-Practice Mohs Surgeons
- Conversations with the Masters: Reconstruction
- Scar Revision: How to Restore Contour
- Patient-Reported Outcome Measures
This specialized dermatology congress is designed to expand and deepen your knowledge of Mohs surgery and reconstruction, patient outcomes, practice management, and more. You’ll have the opportunity to attend pre-conference workshops, morning mini-sessions, reconstruction panels and social events, as well as interact with industry exhibitors and sponsors.
When: October 1-4, 2020
Where: Las Vegas, NV
As of January, 2020, the schedule and session topics have yet to be announced. Potential attendees can check the Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference website for details as they become available.
Some 2019 courses included:
- Genetics in Skin Cancer Diagnosis and Prognosis
- Ask the Experts Opening Scientific Session – Bring Your Toughest Psoriasis, Eczema, Acne, and Rosacea Cases
- Pearls for Treating the Aging Face
- Itch: New Treatments at Last!
- Office Management Tips
This four-day medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology conference provides a comprehensive update on the specialty and on patient management. The small environment is designed to maximize interaction between attendees and faculty, while supplying practical knowledge through daily lectures, panels, live patient workshops, poster presentations and question-and-answer sessions.
When: April 24-26, 2020
Where: Washington, DC
2020 topics include:
- Practical Approach to the Itchy Patient
- Issues in Transgender Dermatology
- Laser Tips for General Derm
- Aesthetics in Skin of Color
- Complementary/Alternative Medicine in Dermatology
This dermatology conference features a variety of innovative session formats, including live patient injection courses, product theaters, live patient viewing sessions and discussions, a Dermpath Challenge and Q&A sessions. You’ll learn about new clinical developments in dermatologic care while networking with peers, completing CMEs and interacting with vendors.
When: March 17 – 19, 2020
Where: Denver, CO
2020 courses include:
- Benchmarking: Moving Your Practice to the Next Level
- Best Practices: KPIs and Workflows
- Patient Roundup! Recruiting for Clinical Studies
- EHR Hot Topics in Dermatology
- MIPS and MACRA Pearls
This focused dermatology congress features lectures, roundtables, social events and an exhibit hall geared toward administrators and managers. They even have separate tracks for different roles, including new managers, advanced managers, academics, financial managers and marketing professionals.
When: April 25, 2020
Where: Alpharetta, GA
2020 session topics include:
- Understanding and Mastering High Risk Areas of Dermatology Coding
- Increasing Patient Volumes with Reputation Cycle Marketing
- Energy-based Devices in 2020
- Protecting Health Information is Patient Care
During this clinical and cosmetic dermatology conference, you’ll have access to continuing education, progressive business practices, professional networking avenues and an exhibit hall.
When: May 22 – 25, 2020
Where: Miramar Beach, FL
Some of the main conference topics include:
- Recent advances in the diagnosis, management and treatment of skin diseases
- New clinical, scientific and research information in the study of dermatology, dermatologic surgery, pediatric dermatology, dermatopathology and cosmetic dermatology
- Techniques that will allow the physician to offer the best treatment options and patient care
- Expanding expertise in select practical aspects of dermasurgery
- Methods of fully assessing patient needs and treatment options
- Improving standards of practice
This four-day dermatology congress features panels, hands-on sessions, abstract presentations, networking and an exhibit hall, designed to provide a comprehensive update on the diagnosis and treatment of medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology conditions.
When: July 30 – August 2, 2020
Where: San Diego, CA
Some 2020 sessions include:
- Update on Genital Dermatology
- Neuromodulators in Medical Dermatology
- Autoimmune Disorders
- Digital Innovation in Dermatology
- Gut and the Skin
Taking place in sunny California, this small-scale dermatology meeting offers cutting-edge resident case presentations, scientific sessions, lectures and panel Q&As on a wide variety of medical and surgical dermatologic topics, as well as social events and an exhibit hall.
Other Dermatology Conferences to Consider
- The Florida Society of Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery Annual Meeting (FSDDS) – May 15-17, 2020 in Palm Beach, FL
- Practical Symposium – August 6-9, 2020 in Beaver Creek, CO
- Women’s & Pediatric Dermatology Seminar – June 19-20, 2020 in Newport Beach, CA
- The American Society of Dermatopathology (ASDP) 57th Annual Meeting – November 5-8, 2020 in Chicago, IL
- 21th Annual Dermatology in the Keys – May 27-31, 2020 in Key West, FL
Now that you’re familiar with the major upcoming dermatology conferences in 2020 and our top tips for attending, you can choose some conferences and develop your plan of action for making the most of your time there. We hope you have a great time attending your chosen dermatology meetings and that you come back with some useful industry knowledge and connections!