Highlights from the Final Day | Practical Symposium 2015

June 22, 2015


Sunday | June 21, 2015


Vail, Colorado – The final day of the 2nd annual Practical Symposium focused on taking care of oneself and one's enterprise amid the changing healthcare landscape. Highlights included the following:

Welch's Way – Faculty from the Jack Welch Management Institute urged attendees to simplify their strategic initiatives to 5 steps:

  • How well do you know what's going on in your industry?

  • What has your competition done to upset the playing field?

  • What have you done to hit your organization's "refresh" button? "Take an honest look at yourself, your skill set, your practice, how you're communicating, how your office is functioning – anything and everything. It's got to be the unfiltered truth – it's going to hurt sometimes," said Jeff McCullough.

  • What keeps you awake at night?

  • What 1 to 3 things can you do to beat the competition? "If you really want to grow new business," said Jack Welch in a video, "you have to exaggerate its importance, scream about its success, assign the best people in your organization and reward them." Denis Tocci, Ph.D., added that especially when significant change is occurring, "A leader's job is aligning people, processes and resources."

Pediatric Potpourri – "Not all pediatric vascular lesions are hemangiomas," said Anna Bruckner, M.D., associate professor of dermatology and pathology, University of Colorado. "Unfortunately, anything that looks red and presumably vascular is going to be called a hemangioma of some sort. And that sort of imprecision in our terminology leads to confusion in terms of accurate diagnosis, prognosis" and appropriate treatment options.

Fillers and Fat Treatments – Because Kythera's newly approved injectable submental fat treatment Kybella (deoxycholic acid) drew so many questions at Saturday's dinner, Joel Cohen, M.D., added it to his presentation. Because it destroys fat cell walls, "Some people are going to get very significant swelling." There's much concern about the product's pricing, he added. "Most patients will require 3 or more treatments – in the FDA study, it was 4.5 treatments. When patients are paying for this product, they'll probably treat to the point they see significant, noticeable improvement" rather than complete correction. Dr. Cohen is an Englewood and Lone Tree, Colorado-based dermatologist.

The Skin and the Law – Clifford Lober, M.D., J.D., shared wide-ranging concerns about healthcare reform. Regarding scope of practice, he said that the increasingly popular Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree has "enormous potential to mislead or unintentionally deceive the public." He emphasized that these practitioners are not physicians – though the public may perceive them as such. To minimize confusion and level the playing field, he recommended spelling out "Doctor of Nursing Practice" on their nametags – and requiring them to bear the same liability as M.D.’s. Dr. Lober is a Kissimmee, Florida-based dermatologist.

EMRs and ICD-10 – Mark Kaufmann, M.D., said that many products promising to automatically convert ICD-9 codes to ICD-10, which most observers expect to take effect in October, are unreliable. Exceptions include a grid produced by Oklahoma city-based dermatologist Blaine Lehr, M.D., which the American Academy of Dermatology is promoting, and an "amazing" bulk conversion service designed by a medical student, icd10charts.com, said Dr. Kaufmann. He is associate clinical professor of dermatology, Mt. Sinai Icahn School of Medicine.

The Tao of Dermatology – To close the symposium on a note of serenity, Dallas-based dermatologist and dermatopathologist Clay J. Cockerell, M.D., shared lessons from the Tao Te Ching. The Tao emphasizes values such as gratitude, he said, noting that "It's impossible to be grateful and depressed at the same time." Regarding ambition and avarice, says the Tao, "A man by not advancing himself stays further ahead of himself." Dr. Cockerell said that whatever challenges physicians face, "You can get in touch with these sorts of things daily in your own practice. You can connect with patients, staff and your vision for the world. These are things that, to me, stop us from focusing on the negatives."


The Practical Symposium will be held August 11-14, 2016 in Vail, CO.


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The Practical Symposium is a Cockerell Educational Foundation event.

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