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President's Address

Thomas E. Rohrer, MD

rohrer-thomas-eIt is a true honor and pleasure to serve as the 40th president of the American Society for Lasers in Medicine and Surgery.  ASLMS has been near and dear to my heart and instrumental in my career development and lifelong quest to learn.

While most medical societies are based around a specific medical or surgical specialty, ASLMS is based upon a common interest in a technology, regardless of one’s specialty. It has always brought scientists, industry, and clinicians together to learn from one another. This creates a diverse membership which encourages more open discussion and a greater cross pollination of ideas.  Seeing how lasers and other energy-based devices are used in other fields often sparks more rapid translations and innovations in one’s own research lab or clinical practice.  The diversity in our membership is our true strength and is what has helped push the science of lasers and energy based devices forward and allowed all of our specialties to grow.  In nature, where two ecosystems intersect there is an explosion of biodiversity. Far more types of organisms exist in the edge between two ecosystems than in the center of either.  Organisms in the overlap areas have to adapt more acutely and do so to survive. The ASLMS and its members live and thrive in this overlap area. Our diverse membership allows us to explore new technologies with a wider range of perspectives and expertise and this stimulates innovation.  I hope to foster this in the coming year and expand our membership even more broadly.

One of the primary missions of ASLMS is to provide a forum for the exchange of scientific information on laser and other energy based devices.  This is done through a number of channels including our LSM journal, regional courses, and perhaps most importantly our annual meeting.  There is no conference that presents as much high quality new information on lasers and energy based devices anywhere in the world. It is the meeting where the information presented gets quoted and referenced at all of the other meetings the rest of the year. While we were unfortunately unable to gather this year in person, the majority of the content will be made available online shortly. Many of the abstracts submitted to the 2020 Annual Conference have been recorded in verbal or poster format and will be available for members to view in the Online Learning Center soon. The abstract presentations are available at no charge to our members. This may be the greatest educational deal ever. No airfare, no hotel charges, no meeting registration! Please take advantage of this and stay up to date on all of the latest advances and breakthroughs in the field.

The COVID pandemic has upended our lives, and so many of us have closed our offices and labs during the stay at home orders. While the decision to close was rapid, and in retrospect very straightforward, the strategies for re-opening are far more complex. The downward slope of all of the major indicators of COVID is much less steep than the initial upward slope in April and will vary greatly region to region. ASLMS has hosted several virtual events on this topic and will continue to work with you and provide you with as much valuable information as we can. We have undertaken a joint document with the ASDS on recommendations for re-opening an aesthetic practice that will be published online within the next week. This manuscript delves into the science behind all of the recommendations you have been hearing and gives you the tools to make your decisions. It also offers great practical advice and provides best practices from around the world. 

No one can predict with certainty what the consequences of this pandemic will be in even 6 weeks, no less 6 months, or 6 years.  All we can do is continue to follow the science and make the best decisions we can given the data at the present time.  Things will likely change rapidly and on a regular basis in the next year.  Necessity has often been called the mother of invention and we will see the COVID pandemic speed innovation up dramatically. We may also find that some of the emergency measures we were forced to rapidly adopt, such as telehealth visits, may actually be preferable in some situations and may continue and expand in the future. I hope the world’s attention on science, health care workers and their safety, our lack of public health preparedness, and the inequities that exist in resources and the health care of so many subsets of the population will not fade.  Whenever we are forced to pause and think, it opens up an opportunity for change. I encourage you all to become a part of that change and do your part in making the world a better place through your compassion and generosity to those who need it most.

With warm regards,

Dr. Rohrer's Bio

Dr. Thomas E. Rohrer is in private practice in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, with SkinCare Physicians and the president of the American Society for Lasers in Medicine and Surgery.

Dr. Thomas Rohrer is considered a leader in many of the major national dermatologic surgery societies and associations, and is a past president of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. In addition, he has served on the board of directors of the American Academy of Dermatology, the Association of Academic Dermatologic Surgeons, and the American College of Mohs Surgery. Dr. Rohrer has served on several committees (nominating, ethics, constitution and bylaws, and scientific) and task forces for the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery and co-chaired the derm-plastics section of the 2006 Annual Conference, and was the chair of the 2013 Annual Conference.

Dr. Rohrer is the director of Mohs Surgery at SkinCare Physicians of Chestnut Hill. Until January 2002, he served as the chief of dermatologic surgery at Boston University Medical Center and the Boston Veterans Administration Hospital, as well as the director of the Boston University Center for Cosmetic and Laser Surgery. Dr. Rohrer is a magna cum laude graduate of Georgetown University and the Georgetown University School of Medicine. He was the recipient of the Michael J. Caruso Award, given to the medical graduate who best exemplified humanitarian care to their patients. Dr. Rohrer completed his internship in internal medicine at Yale University Hospital and completed a residency in dermatology at the combined Boston University-Tufts University program. He completed a Mohs and dermatologic surgery fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Rohrer has lectured nationally and internationally, instructing other dermatologists and plastic surgeons on various aspects of dermatologic and laser surgery. His textbook, Flaps and Grafts in Dermatologic Surgery is presently the national best-selling text on the subject. He is the editor of six other text books in cosmetic and laser surgery and has published in numerous dermatologic and laser surgery journals. Dr. Rohrer has appeared multiple times on NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, and CNN news as an expert on lasers, skin cancer, and other related subjects. He has also been quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Boston Magazine, Redbook, Men’s Health, Good Housekeeping, Allure, and Cosmopolitan. Dr. Rohrer has been voted as one of the Best of Boston Doctors for over a decade.

The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery is the world’s largest scientific organization dedicated to promoting research, education and high standards of clinical care in the field of medical laser applications. It provides a forum for the exchange of scientific information and participation in communicating the latest developments in laser medicine and surgery to clinicians, research investigators, government and regulatory agencies, and the public.

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