PDS: The Derm Authority
Writer | Jenny Lee
Since its founding in 1952, the Philippine Dermatological Society (PDS) has been serving the public as the leading organization of dermatologists.
From November 4 to 6 this year, the Philippine Dermatological Society (PDS) will hold its much-awaited 38th Convention in tandem with the 13th Asia Pacific Environmental and Occupational Dermatology Symposium in Manila.
To know more about PDS and it’s activities, we had a chat with their Public Relations and External Affairs Head and past President Dr. Teresita G. Gabriel. Here’s what we learned.
PDS’s commitment is to be an organization of humane and service-oriented dermatologists observing the highest ethical professional standards and promoting knowledge through information dissemination, training and research.
“Our mission is to ensure Public Safety through Quality Service” says Dr. Gabriel. The Philippine Dermatological Society has a very active “ Skin Safety Campaign” that prioritizes the safety of the end users and consumers.
With the many skin care products out in the market, improper promotions occur, misleading the consumers. For example, glutathione must not be labeled as a “skin whitening ingredient” although there are proposed mechanisms of action for how it works. To date, there are no randomized controlled studies on the safety and efficacy of glutathione as a whitening agent. In another case, stem cells are promoted as an ingredient in soaps when stem cells are not effective if incorporated in soaps. “We have patients who come to us to undo the damage on their faces because their previous treatments from fly by night establishments became a disaster,” Dr. Gabriel explains.
Recently, PDS received a 3,000 Euros scholarship research grant from the International Society of Dermatology (ISD). The research is geared towards gathering knowledge, attitude and practices of dermatologists among patients with HIV. This illustrates the strong partnership between PDS and its international counterpart, ISD. It also demonstrates that one of PDS strength is not just its clinical competency but also in the area of research and development.
They have 992 members as of 2014. Globally recognized by the American Academy of Dermatology, PDS is the only dermatological society that is part of the Regional Congress of Dermatology that is composed of other dermatological society groups in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.
One of the important components of the PDS is its membership composed of dermatologists who are medical doctors who underwent a 3 year-residency in dermatology in 11 accredited institutions namely:
East Avenue Medical Center, Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center, Makati Medical Center, Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center, Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Skin & Cancer Foundation, Inc., Southern Philippines Medical Center, St. Luke’s Medical Center, University of the East RMMMC, UP – Philippine General Hospital and the University of Sto. Tomas Hospital.
Besides training in these institutions, the doctors also needed to undergo continuous studies here and abroad. The PDS provides Continuing Medical Education (CME) to its members, through regular monthly CME meetings, regional conferences and national conventions organized by the PDS CME Committee and the Annual Convention Organizing Committee. In addition, all Regional Chapters organize their own CME meetings , post-graduate courses and PDS Midyear Convention.
The increasing awareness of the common folk on dermatology as a process to make them look younger has stirred up and increased demand, thereby making these procedures less expensive. However, if treatments are done by doctors without the proper accreditation and training, problems may occur such as allergic reactions, overdose, overdoing the procedure and use of low grade substances that can have adverse effects.
There are non-PDS doctors who hold one week technical workshops on procedures and treatments, charging exorbitant rates to anyone who wants to
offer these treatments in their establishments. This may cause problems in the long run.
It is assuring to know that the PDS is committed in safeguarding its patients from the dangers of a market flooded with anti-aging products, unrealistic promises from laser and light technologies that are just out to take advantage of the public’s lack of information. On the other hand, Dr. Gabriel reports that compared to 20 years ago, people nowadays have healthier skin because of access to correct information.
For more information, you may visit the PDS website at www.pds.org.ph or call the PDS Secreetriat at 727-73-09.