Last weekend I had the fortunate experience of attending my fourth annual SkinMedica Physician Summit. It is always a learning experience, and I am always so glad that I attend when I am lucky enough to be invited. What really struck a cord with me this year was the genuine camaraderie among these physicians. They all come from different areas around the country, from different backgrounds which led them to this point in their careers, and treat a variety of patients. Some are dermatologists, others are plastic surgeons, and then there are so many other variations on the same theme. They may have trained in emergency or family medicine, but they all share a common goal. They are trying to improve and maintain their patients’ health and their beauty.

As I sat through lectures or listened to feedback and conversation in the small focus groups, or simply over dinner, the common theme to each of these amazing physicians’ success stories is one thing: patient relationships. These physicians remember each and every day, despite the frustrations that face them in regards to the new face of healthcare, the reason they went into this field was to help people, and to make a difference in patients’ lives. The way they do this is by beginning and continuing the physician/patient relationship. If it were not for patients, we would not have a practice. If it were not for patients, we could not mentally challenge ourselves daily through the study of medicine.  Patients are truly the foundation for everything that we do in our professional lives.

I love the challenge of new and interesting skin problems, but I recognize that there is also a human person who sits within that same skin that I examine, who I want to know just a little bit (or a lot!) better by the time they are walking out of the doors of our dermatology offices. Sometimes, you just need to go back to the basics. This SkinMedica Summit was a reminder that the basics for me and my colleagues is all about the patient.

Image by Rawpixel/