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Update from the Dermatopathology Society of India Meeting (2014), Bangalore.


Sasi Attili

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I had the privilege of attending the [url="http://dermpathindia.org/meetings.html"]DSI meeting[/url] held in Bangalore last week. This was my first such attendance in India. It was heartening to see that the majority (60%) of attendees (around 450 in total) were dermatologists. The meeting started with an informative pre-conference workshop on Immunofluorescence techniques. The main conference was held over 3 days, with the agenda being dominated by the 'Glass Slide Challenge' comprising of 40 spotters +10 difficult cases. Needless to say, the majority (90%) of the cases were inflammatory! Malignant skin tumours are extremely rare in India with an average dermatologist expected to see not more than 2-3 cases/ month.

The cases presented at the meeting were interesting and challenging. However, there still a steep learning curve ahead as far as the quality of discussions and talks is concerned. Having had the privilege of training under some very experienced dermatopathologists in the UK and attending various dermpath meetings across the world, I felt that the Indian scene is yet to catch up with the rest of the world.

For those not familiar with the scenario in India, dermatopathology is a very recent concept here. It was just 3 years back in 2011 that the DSI entered a Sister Society relationship with the Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists to be part of their annual conference in collaboration with the dermatopathology special interest group of the IADVL. Most dermatologists in fact do not even know or can't be bothered to biopsy skin lesions. Even of they possess the skills to take a biopsy, the lack of trained dermatopathologists deters them from taking a biopsy.

There are hardly a handful of trained dermatopathologists in India, the majority of whom have done short 1-6 month fellowships in the US. Not many dermatopathologists possess a formally recognised degree. Including myself there are only two people (that I know of), who have taken the ISDP exam. Dr. Asha Kubba is India’s only American Board certified dermatopathologist & Dr. Venkataram Mysore is probably the only Dermatopathologist to possess the Diploma from the RCP (London, UK). Having said that, there are a few very experienced dermatopathologists who have learnt from their own experience and their mentors, despite having had no formal training in a recognised centre (there is no recognised dermpath training center in India).

I hope that dermatopathology is taken up in a big way in India over the coming years. I hope to see a few training centres and a national board exam in dermpath being set-up. Considering that India has a population of over 1.25 Billion, there are exciting times ahead that I certainly look forward to.
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Dr. Richard Carr

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Looking forward to seeing you in New Dehli for the ISDP meeting next year and flying down to your locale for some hospitality!!!!
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