The first day for me at the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting started with ample amounts of both excitement and trepidation. I’d never attended a medical meeting for physicians, nor did I represent companies that offered services or products for them.
Yet, I felt strangely like I did belong as a lifelong psoriasis and atopic dermatitis patient. In a way, the meeting existing for me, the dermatology patient. But I didn’t know where exactly I fit in to this meeting.
The morning agenda included a discussion between the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) and representatives from the pharmaceutical company Janssen (see note below). I shared my experience working with blogger groups, and listened as important topics related to outreach and treatment for those living with psoriasis and their caregivers.
In the afternoon I had a chance to go to the Orlando Convention Center to see the Exhibit Hall. I recognized many brands and medications I’ve used over the years. By the end of the day, however, many samples ran out at the booths. I plan to go back tomorrow during breaks between attending scientific sessions related to psoriasis.
The evening I enjoyed attending the NPF reception where they handed out medical professional awards. I met staff from the NPF, even having a short, but in-depth conversation about my volunteer work in Northern California/Sacramento.
By the end of the day, my concern if I belonged or not at the AAD meeting did not feel so pressing. Curiosity and desire to learn more about my condition, and pass that knowledge to the psoriasis community took its place. Besides, I have a cool yellow access pass and map to guide the way!
[Note: Janssen paid for my time and travel expenses to attend the National Psoriasis Meeting meeting at AAD. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own and have not been influenced by Janssen.]