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  Table of Contents  
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 428-429  

Scientific chairman: DERMACON 2016; let us make it meaningful and delighful

Department of Dermatology, PSG IMS and R, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication14-Sep-2016

Correspondence Address:
C R Srinivas
Department of Dermatology, PSG IMS and R, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2229-5178.190490

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How to cite this article:
Srinivas C R. Scientific chairman: DERMACON 2016; let us make it meaningful and delighful. Indian Dermatol Online J 2016;7:428-9

How to cite this URL:
Srinivas C R. Scientific chairman: DERMACON 2016; let us make it meaningful and delighful. Indian Dermatol Online J [serial online] 2016 [cited 2020 Jul 14];7:428-9. Available from: http://www.idoj.in/text.asp?2016/7/5/428/190490

The task of the Scientific Chairperson is a package deal with multiple challenges which call for meeting constitutional obligation, aspirations of the delegates, and expectations of pharmaceuticals. The other challenges include identifying topics and faculty, outsmarting the exhibitors, overcoming the innate desire of the registered delegate to spend as little time in the halls where scientific sessions are in progress and seek relaxation elsewhere.

I will deal with one challenge after another.

   Constitution Top

This book frequently changes color and contents, more frequently than an amoeba changes shape. In addition, its organization leaves much to be desired since different dictates are in different places and not easy to unravel. It is more like a game of a treasure hunt. Over and above, the Chairman's head will be on the block if he/she overlooks any event mentioned somewhere. The Constitution mandates certain events and activities at specified time and it is a smart move to first provide slots for events. If by oversight a plenary event is not provided in the mandated slot, then to accommodate one such session 5 others have to be rescheduled.

   Scientific Topics Top

There is nothing homogenous about the aspirations of our delegates. While majority still do not care, they are unfortunately not the vocal ones. It is no secret that the composition of the delegates is changing. Cosmetology, which has more lure and less science, is gaining ground. A good old disease, which still afflicts our patients who beg for better care, should still be the priority. However, cosmetology which is practiced by anyone and everyone should have roots in dermatology, and hence should find place. While it is easy to keep increasing number of halls to accommodate more and more sessions, this will lead to thinner and thinner attendance. While focusing on the present and future, it is important that the session should give glimpses of the past. One cannot deny that although treatment regimens from the past maybe less effective, it may also be more affordable and also may have fewer side effects.

   Packaging Scientific Sessions Top

Selling to some extent depends on the packaging. We must find more new and innovative wrappings and restructure the contents. If people go to the theatre for drama, we should lure them by offering drama [Figure 1]. The essential aspects of theatre and shows are pleasing visuals, attractively and at times garishly attired actors, who deliver punch dialogues, pick up fights and sing songs [Figure 2]. These elements can be carefully incorporated into the scientific proceedings. Why should science be dull? Today even cars and condoms are colorful. And a lot can happen over coffee [Figure 3].
Figure 1: Aap ki Adalat: Acknowledging contributions and dealing with controversial issues

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Figure 2: Aamne Saamne: A discussion on conservative approach versus aggressive approach

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Figure 3: Coffee with Maya: A discussion on chemical peels

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   Audience Expectation Top

We should make sessions entertaining and informative. The audience is composed of well-trained dermatologists. They have a wealth of experience and the faculties selected have not dropped out of the sky. The sessions should be so planned that those who attend should find place to state their opinion and share their experience. Any session which does not find time for discussion should be marked a failure.

   Faculty Identification Top

A faculty should be a person who has done original work in the field [Figure 4]. At the very least he/she should have made some contribution by way of authoring a chapter, writing a review, or publishing case series. While inviting people to apply is not a bad idea, the very fact that one has applied should not be the reason for allotting slots. To humor one, there should not be injustice to many. Every talk should be weighed in terms of man hours. A 15 minutes talk is 15 minutes multiplied by the number of people in the audience, and a bad talk should go down as that many man hours down the drain. Giving opportunity for the sake of accommodating more will lead to dull and boring sessions. An invitation to talk is like the Cadbury Bourneville chocolate, “You Have to Earn It.”
Figure 4: Late Balbir Singh Bhogal with Anurag Tiwari and Jane Setterfield

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   Pharmaceuticals Expectations Top

He who pays the piper calls the tune. Any person, no matter how renowned, will speak for the pharmaceuticals if sponsored. Some will even mention the name of the drug! It is better to hand over the entire session to pharmaceutical so that audience are aware that the session is sponsored and, hence consider, conflict of interest while digesting information presented. However, sessions can be opened up to pharmaceuticals after it is planned, consolidated, and sealed and no additions are accepted at the behest of the sponsor.

   Laughter and Gaiety Top

All like to laugh and feel happy. Various options should be explored to punctuate sessions with relaxing and releasing humor. If audience can participate, it will be additional icing on the cake. Like reading appropriate poem or narrating a relevant joke.

These lines are being penned to provide pointers and not hand out specific instructions. The crux of the matter is simple. People come to learn and have fun.


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]


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