What Comdex is to computer professionals, the annual AAD (American Academy of Dermatology) scientific meeting is to derms, and by no means is the AAD anything less than a good show. The organizers choose venues that provide good support to attendees inasfar as elbow room on the exhibit floor and several fair-to-middling fast food joints (overpriced) on the various decks and in the four halls. As I type this, in between quickie meetings with a few esteemed physicians, the scientific sessions are quietly bustling. The AAD this year seemed to fill every room at the 4-hall Miami Beach Convention Center. The attendee count was over 19,000, according to the AAD.

For the aesthetic practitioner, new products in the laser- and light-based devices category included offerings from Sciton, Palomar, and Viora, among others. These devices go straight for the body contouring crowd and those who employ "touch-up laser" technologies when treating post-lipo conditions. A wide range of skin care treatments dot the show floor, with a cast of corporations that one expects — J&J, Allergan, Neutrogena — and the many more smaller entrepreneurships that seemed to be on every aisle. The scientific sessions that I have attended were mostly full.

I did not attend the keynote by Donna Shalala, the former Secretary of Health and Human Services, and would have preferred Dave Barry in her place, as he was originally scheduled to speak here. However, Shalala is probably more in keeping with the serious side of dermatology and health care issues.

For those of us who watched the steady stream of speeches and pitches from video monitors throughout the halls, the new AAD president is Lynn Drake, MD, Professor and Chair of the Department of dermatology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City.

Throughout the upcoming week, check this blog and the PSP Web site home page for additional news and updates that came out of this year's AAD meeting.