Experts in dermatology share advice on helping fellow physicians stay apprised of the advances in AD and treat their patients more effectively.
Raj Chovatiya, MD, PhD: We talked about in this discussion how there’s been so much activity in this space. There’s so much new stuff happening, education, taking care of patients, how you talk about warnings, how you talk about safety, efficacy. It can be overwhelming, especially if somebody isn’t necessarily in a place where they see almost all atopic dermatitis [AD] all the time, where you’ve been an investigator on so many different trials. Maybe we could do the same exercise, but I would love to hear any one particular pearl, recommendation, or tidbit you’ve developed in the past year. How do you recommend that somebody stays on top of what’s happening in atopic dermatitis? Maybe we’ll take this in reverse order, and I’ll start with you, Peter. What’s something you recommend, whether it’s patients or caregivers, to stay on top of the immense progress made in this space?
Peter A. Lio, MD: I have to put in a plug for the National Eczema Association [NEA]. Disclosure, I’m a board member, but I don’t get paid, I donate money. But the NEA is focused on keeping patients and families up to date on all this new information, a lot of new therapies, and even the research pipeline. They have a wonderful page, and I’m sure a lot of us here probably contribute to that and update it. But that’s a wonderful resource for patients and families to stay abreast of all the new things going on.
Raj Chovatiya, MD, PhD: How about you, Matt?
Matthew Zirwas, MD: I was having this conversation with a resident last night, that I feel so fortunate that I got interested in adult atopic dermatitis back in 2003. And since then, I have always had a daily email, you can set PubMed to automatically do a search every day and send you any new articles. For 15 years, every day I’ve gotten an email; any article that has the word dermatitis in the title gets emailed to me. I can click on them and read the abstracts. And now I’ve got not just dermatitis, but the names of each different drug. Now my search is 15 terms long. Every day I get that email, and it might have between 2 and 60 new citations in it on a given day. I’ll probably click on the abstract for 1 in 10, and I’ll read the article for 1 in 30. But I think about the thousands of articles I’ve read over the last 15 years doing that, and how lucky it is to be able to have slowly built that knowledge base. To really understand and know what’s going on in the world of AD, and how the way we think about the disease is changing, and the drugs and everything, I think things like this are invaluable. But it is an overwhelming amount of information, and the number of publications is going through the roof, as there’s more money and therefore more interest in atopic dermatitis research.
Raj Chovatiya, MD, PhD: How about you, Dr Herbert?
Adelaide A. Hebert, MD: I agree with what Matt said. But I think on a practical level, certainly I get emails every day about online training, just as this will be, and I try to share that with my colleagues, especially my residents and trainees. Because much of that education is free, you can do it at your leisure. You have libraries of information and you can have live presentations. I will say, as a former president of the Women’s Dermatologic Society, we have invited residents to become members for free, and we have a library of educational programs encompassing atopic dermatitis and many other arenas, and we have live presentations. Those residents in training and our members can certainly avail themselves, and anyone who wishes to join also would be welcome to attend. That’s my plug for the Women’s Dermatologic Society and our educational series.
Raj Chovatiya, MD, PhD: I love it. Then how about you, Dr Noor?
Omar Noor, MD: I think these are all wonderful resources, and I would honestly almost even take a step back and look at everybody and say, listen, we are privileged to be dermatologists, but even beyond that, we’re physicians, we’re doctors. And it is our responsibility to put forth the effort to make sure that we are giving all of our patients the best options to make them better. There’s been a bit of a change in this post-COVID-19 world, where people are a bit complacent. But I’ll tell you, the world is evolving quickly. It was evolving quickly before COVID-19, it’s evolving quickly after, and once upon a time, if you didn’t prescribe a biologic for psoriasis, you were OK. If you didn’t want to learn about how the mechanisms work for psoriasis, you were average with the country. If you are not prescribing a biologic for psoriasis at this point, your patient will find someone else. That also applies to these newer options in atopic dermatitis. If you do not get accustomed to JAK inhibition and these newer treatment options and algorithms for our patients with atopic dermatitis, they will find someone else. Long gone are the sticky patients who used to say, “I’ve seen my doctor for 40 years.” They will leave us in a heartbeat if they feel that the person down the street is doing something more innovative or may treat them better. So, I say get to work to learn to treat our patients better.
Raj Chovatiya, MD, PhD: I love the conviction. I know you believe it in the discussions we’ve had. I’m going to put my two cents in. I really enjoy stuff like this as an educational tool, because as much as I would like to tell my residents to just read the textbooks and prepare for the board exams, we know that once those things are published, they’re out of date immediately, just given how much activity is happening in this space. Even when I took my board exams, I feel like there had at least been some progress in these areas, but I was still talking about things that happened 20 years ago. So, anything that we can do, such as have these kinds of discussions, and others can watch this type of material. That’s the reason I love doing this stuff. It very much goes to the top of my list.
That being said, Drs Noor, Herbert, Zirwas, and Lio, thank you so much for joining. This has been an awesome discussion. I know I learned a lot just thinking about how I can have these discussions with my patients and step up my care. And thanks to all of you out there for watching this informative HCPLive® Peer Exchange. Remember, if you enjoyed the content here, please subscribe to the e-newsletters to receive upcoming peer exchanges and other great content right in your inbox. Thanks again, everybody.
Transcript edited for clarity