Better training means better care

| Steve Bieler

You probably already know that the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) runs programs to keep people informed about psoriatic disease and the latest treatments. There’s our new podcast series, Psound Bytes, for example, and our free health webcasts. And you can always contact our Patient Navigation Center for personalized advice and support.

But you might not know that we also educate the dermatologists, rheumatologists and other health care providers who treat people with psoriatic disease. NPF sponsors year-round continuing medical education events on our own and in partnership with other health care groups.

One of our biggest and best-attended events is our annual Residents Meeting on Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis. This is a two-day program for dermatology residents. (A resident is someone in the final stage of graduate medical training.)

Dermatologists from hospitals and medical centers come to our Residents Meeting to expand their knowledge of psoriasis and network with our expert faculty.

In 2006, Leila Ettefagh, M.D., was the chief resident at Case Western Reserve University when she attended our Residents Meeting in Chicago. “As a resident, I remember feeling very grateful to have an in-depth psoriasis overview within a great conference,” she said.

Navid Nami, M.D., was then the chief resident at Columbia Hospital in West Palm Beach, Florida. He remembers that conference as being “unique” for the education he received and for the chance to interact with other dermatologists who were all at approximately the same stage of their careers.

What do dermatologists take home from the Residents Meeting?

  • They get brought up-to-date on the physical and emotional impacts of psoriasis.
  • They review current therapies, including effectiveness, side effects and long-term safety.
  • They study comorbidities, the diseases related to psoriasis, and learn how to diagnose and treat them.
  • They apply their knowledge to case studies and on special populations, including pediatric patients.
  • They learn new ways to lower the costs of and barriers to treatment.

Residents also get to socialize with their peers, sometimes with unexpected results.

“That NPF Residents Meeting holds a very special place in my heart,” Ettefagh said. “I just so happened to meet my husband there.”

As Nami remembered it, “Leila came in about five minutes late, so I couldn’t help but notice her walk in and sit next to someone I already knew. So during the break, it was my opportunity to go say hi to my friend and assess the situation a little closer. Later that evening, all the residents went to a local club, so we officially met on the dance floor.”

Ettefagh and Nami married soon after. “I think even if we hadn’t met at that time, the conference still would be very memorable,” Nami said.

Ettefagh and Nami have two children and their own practice, Island Dermatology in Newport Beach, California. “We see and treat a lot of psoriasis patients,” Nami said.

The Residents Meeting celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2018. Thanks to NPF’s long-term commitment to continuing medical education, Ettefagh, Nami and many more dermatologists are better equipped to treat people with psoriatic disease and help them achieve better outcomes.

Driving discovery, creating community

For more than 50 years, we’ve been driving efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected. But there’s still plenty to do! Learn how you can help our advocacy team shape the laws and policies that affect people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis – in your state and across the country. Help us raise funds to support research by joining Team NPF, where you can walk, run, cycle, play bingo or create your own fundraising event. If you or someone you love needs free, personalized support for living a healthier life with psoriatic disease, contact our Patient Navigation Center. And keep the National Psoriasis Foundation going strong by making a donation today. Together, we will find a cure.

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