After medical school, newly graduated M.D.s head off to residency programs to learn their specialties. In the United States, dermatology residencies are typically three years in length, during which time up-and-coming dermatologists learn how to be dermatologists – except they don’t often get to learn very much about excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis). In fact, very few dermatology residency programs provide their residents with thorough, up-to-date training on the diagnosis, understanding, and treatment of hyperhidrosis. Thanks, however, to the foresight of a few residency directors and a generous medical educational grant from Allergan, the International Hyperhidrosis Society is working to change that – one dermatology residency at time. (Spoiler alert – two down, 113 more to go!)
Recently, the dermatology residency program at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, welcomed the International Hyperhidrosis Society’s unique and independent “Master Class in Hyperhidrosis Patient Care and Practice Efficiency.” The one-day event was led by IHHS founders, leading dermatologists and hyperhidrosis thought leaders: Dr. Dee Anna Glaser (Professor & Vice Chairman, Director Cosmetic & Laser Surgery, Department of Dermatology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine) and Dr. David Pariser (Professor, Department of Dermatology, Eastern Virginia Medical School and the 2009 President of the American Academy of Dermatology). This course is solely and independently created by the faculty, and accredited by Eastern Virginia Medical School. No commercial interests are privy to the content nor do they influence the course whatsoever. It is an educational event in its purist form. There is no other hyperhidrosis education as in-depth and comprehensive available anywhere in the world.
Both Dr. Glaser and Dr. Pariser provided the attendees (including the distinguished Emory Department of Dermatology , fellows, and residents plus other healthcare providers and scientists from around the world) with in-depth presentations on the latest hyperhidrosis research and best practices in the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of excessive sweating for all focal body areas (from sweaty underarms, to sweating hands and feet, to sweating face and scalp and beyond).
But beyond didactics, what sets the Master Class apart is the hands-on training provided – especially to the resident dermatologists who are the future of hyperhidrosis care! These were not just demonstrations of treatments, but unique mentoring moments allowing experts in the field to pass on their skills to the next generation of practitioners. Much gratitude to Emory University Department of Dermatology faculty Drs. Suephy C. Chen, Zakiya P. Rice, and Sulochana Bhandarkar for championing the event and recognizing the significance of hyperhidrosis as a medical condition and the importance of training dermatologists in the effective diagnosis and management of this disease.
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In 2013, the International Hyperhidrosis Society (thanks again to an educational grant from Allergan) and the University of Massachusetts Division of Dermatology, conducted a similar event for its dermatology residents. We think that each of these distinguished dermatology departments can attest to the one-of-a-kind educational experience provided through the “Master Class.” Vetted patient volunteers took part in all treatment trainings, the International Hyperhidrosis Society provided all necessary supplies, equipment and medications, brought in dedicated expert staff, and secured the appropriate venue, and every focal area of excessive sweating was covered in a logical fashion – walking trainees through the treatment process sequentially from the least complicated to most complicated cases. Treatment stations allowed small groups to work together under the guidance of Saint Louis University and Pariser Dermatology experts, using prepared supplies and specially selected patient volunteers.
For the patient volunteers, the event was a unique opportunity to share experiences with a community of hyperhidrosis sufferers in a safe, supportive environment. And then, to receive treatment under the guidance of true experts, free of charge. Each volunteer also received a gift bag with donated products from our friends in the Deals and Discounts program.
The International Hyperhidrosis Society is currently working on its 2015 “Master Class” in partnership with Seattle Children's Hospital at the Washington School of Medicine. Interested sponsors should contact Lisa Pieretti, Executive Director, International Hyperhidrosis Society for more information.
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Physicians and all medical staff from around the globe can subscribe to our VIP list in order to be among the first to hear about upcoming educational events. Just send an email to Christine@SweatHelp.org with the subject line "CME VIP List". A whopping 7.0 CME credits are awarded from Eastern Virginia Medical School to attendees. Training sessions must be kept small to provide hands-on experiences so register early, space is limited. Feedback has been phenomenal, from doctors and patients, alike. Here’s just a sample of what physicians are saying:
“Previously I felt that I did not really have all the tools to help patients with this condition and now I will approach it with more confidence and an even deeper level of compassion.”
“My colleagues and I learned so much and feel more empowered to treat patients with hyperhidrosis.”
“I got a lot of hands-on experience and now feel fully competent in offering treatment options to my patients.”
Thinking of being a patient volunteer? Make sure your newsletter subscription is up to date, and ALWAYS open our emails! :) Here's what some of our Emory volunteers had to say:
“The one word I would use to describe the session would be relief. It was such a relief to know that there are other individuals out there who suffer from this awful condition and that I'm not alone… Since the treatment, I feel happier, less anxious, and more productive at work without the constant stress of worrying about sweating. “
“Thank you so much for the opportunity to try the Botox. I feel so much more normal than I did before. I feel like a new person.”
“Yesterday, I was in the kitchen generally puttering around. Suddenly I realized I was NOT SWEATING! NO DRIPPING, no stopping to wipe my face before finishing dishes. I called my mom but I BURST out crying trying to tell her that I was not sweating.”
As mentioned above, the International Hyperhidrosis Society developed its “Master Class” after realizing that most dermatology residency programs lack real training and education in understanding, diagnosing, and treating excessive sweating, especially given the progress in research and treatment options that’s occurred in the last decade. To fill in the gap, the International Hyperhidrosis Society brings its expertise directly to the dermatologists. Medical providers from around the world are invited to participate, as well, along with patients who suffer from excessive sweating and are willing to share their time and experiences, and receive treatment as part of hands-on training.
“Treating hyperhidrosis leads to greater impact on patients’ quality of life than treatment of any other dermatologic condition,” says Lisa Pieretti, Executive Director of the International Hyperhidrosis Society. “Through our Master Class, we impart this profound, and compassionate, concept to our attendees, and enable them to dramatically improve the lives of their hyperhidrosis patients.”
Spreading the word about excessive sweating; that’s what we do and you can help too! Please share this article and SweatHelp.org with the doctors and other medical professionals you know and with your friends and family.