IAD Travelling Fellowship Report. Sept 2014 Dr Mairi Ferguson I

IAD Travelling Fellowship Report. Sept 2014 Dr Mairi Ferguson I was awarded the Irish Association of Dermatologists travelling fellowship in March 2014, which facilitated my overseas work experience in Auckland, New Zealand. This comprised of a one month period of shadowing dermatologists in both the public and private sector, followed by my attendance at the New Zealand annual dermatology conference. Auckland is the capital of New Zealand and has a population of around 1.5 million. Aucklanders come from all corners of the globe. Around fifty percent are of European descent and the remainder is made up of Maoris, south Pacific Islanders, and a growing population of Asian immigrants. This diverse mix of ethnicities enabled me to encounter a wide range of skin conditions, which are specific to certain skin types and geographical locations. New Zealand also has the second highest incidence of melanoma in the world. As a result, there are a large number of one-­‐stop private clinics which offer everything from digital dermoscopy, to Mohs’ micrographic surgery. I spent some time observing in the Skin Institute, in Takapuna, and was amazed to see such a high frequency of melanoma and non-­‐melanoma skin cancers. It was fantastic for improving my dermoscopy skills! I also spent time in Middlemore hospital attending ward rounds and clinics. Middlemore hospital is a public hospital situated in South Auckland. As it is in an area of socioeconomic deprivation, patients tended to present with very advanced skin disease. I also attended the morphology and dermatopathology teaching sessions in Greenlane hospital, and the clinical academic meetings in Waikato hospital. In August, I attended the annual New Zealand dermatology meeting in Dunedin. The theme of the meeting was skin oncology and surgery. The keynote speakers included Dr. Christopher Bichakjian, an associate professor of Dermatology and Associate Chief of the Division of Cutaneous Surgery and Oncology at the University of Michigan, and Professor Chris Griffiths from the University of Manchester, who is renowned for his extensive research into psoriasis. Day one consisted of a trainee teaching session and a workshop on difficult patient interactions. On day two Dr Bichakjian presented on contemporary management of Merkel cell carcinoma, and sentinel lymph node biopsy in melanoma. Prof. Griffiths started with insights into skin aging, followed by a fascinating talk on the brain-­‐skin-­‐axis in psoriasis. There was a dermatologic surgery teaching session covering grafts, nasal side wall repairs, keystone flaps, and periocular Mohs’ surgery. Days three and four consisted of registrar presentations by the New Zealand trainees, and visiting trainees from overseas. I had the privilege of presenting a paediatric case report during this session. There were also talks on vascular anomalies, biologics and targeted melanoma therapy, each from experts in the field. I am very grateful to the IAD for awarding me this travelling fellowship. It has enabled me to gain experience in skin diseases that otherwise I may never have encountered, as well as giving me the opportunity to present at an international meeting. I have no doubt that this enjoyable and informative experience will help shape my future dermatology career. I would also like to thank Dr. Paul Jarrett and Prof. Amanda Oakley, for their friendliness, enthusiasm, and help in organising my work experience in New Zealand.