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President's Message

Barbara Mathes, MD

Molly Hinshaw, MD - President (2020-2021)

It is my great honor and joy to serve as the 2020-2021 President for the Women’s Dermatologic Society.  Thank you to Dr. Barbara Mathes for her expert, tireless, and selfless service to the organization as President of WDS.  We have had a tremendous year and have grown stronger because of her dedication. This year, I look forward to much growth including the growth of the new Educational Programming Committee that she created.

In addition, I would like to thank Dr. Marta Rendon for her incredible dedication as Honorary President.  Throughout her career, Dr. Rendon has served the WDS in many different capacities and we are grateful that she continues to share her time and many talents with this great organization.

WDS is here to support our members throughout these uncertain times of COVID-19 that is rapidly changing the way that dermatologists care for patients and that our trainees learn.  We have responded with education that is evidence-based in line with our expert colleagues at the AAD and CDC.  As you are all aware, our annual meeting was cancelled which had repercussions for the organization.  While we are proactive in working on solutions to the current problem and being creative with solutions to challenges that COVID-19 will bring to our programming, we are grateful to those of you who have made donations to help WDS during this difficult time.  Please show your support and make a donation today. We continue to monitor the landscape and keep our members needs at the center of all of our initiatives.

Leadership, Mentorship, and Sponsorship

Since the creation of the WDS by Dr. Wilma Bergfeld 47 years ago, women have actively, purposefully, and strategically created opportunities for ourselves through the WDS. The benefits we have received from our membership are profound and have advanced the professional lives of each of us.

To illustrate the power of WDS, I will share how WDS has made an impact in my life. In 2011, I received the WDS Career and Community Advancement Award, which provided the opportunity to train under the direction of Dr. Phoebe Rich in the diagnosis and management of nail disorders. Dr. Rich generously welcomed me into her clinics nearly ten years ago and has continued to extend her support ever since. Through her mentorship and sponsorship, I was able to start the first ever nail clinic at the University of Wisconsin Madison, speak nationally and internationally on nail disorders, created and directed hands on courses, and published many manuscripts and book chapters. Only through the direct application of my WDS membership was this partnership, and its resulting impact, made possible. Mentorship and sponsorship like this are the spirit and power of the WDS!

Advancing the professional lives of women is so important because when women advance ourselves we bring others with us including our patients, colleagues and entire communities. Through WDS, we give back to our communities with our educational initiatives such as Play Safe in the Sun & TIPP Shelter Initiatives. We give back to our patients by broadened our networks of professional colleagues, from whom we can learn and partner. We also give back to those earlier in their career through mentorship grants, networking events and resident travel grants. 

This year WDS will grow our roses, meaning we will focus on growing our membership and programs to advance opportunities for leadership, mentorship and sponsorship.

I encourage you all to get involved with the WDS – it takes a village to accomplish our goals. Join us at upcoming signature events, gain leadership experience by volunteering in a committee, host regional and service events in your community, and increase the impact of our programs by spreading the word to your colleagues, residents, and fellows. Our members are the heart and soul of WDS. We need you and your expertise to move us all forward! For more information on how to become involved, visit the WDS website.

I promise that what you give to WDS, you will get back many times over.  We are stronger together so look for opportunities to lift each other up, mentor and sponsor one another.  I am looking forward to another year of successes for WDS.

Sincerely,

Molly Hinshaw, MD
President (2020-2021)

Last updated: March 31, 2020