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European Dermatology Forum

About EDF


pdf Flyer "About EDF"

pdf Position Paper

The practice of dermatology has, over the past 30 years, been distinguished by its transition from provision of essentially empirical treatments to a practice in which rational therapies, based on enhanced knowledge of the pathogenesis of disease, are administered. Coincidentally, the boundaries between organ specific specialities such as our own have become blurred. Thus there is now great overlap with numerous other medical disciplines. These include: oncology, immunology / allergology, plastic surgery, oral medicine and, increasingly rheumatology and other disciplines in which management of chronic inflammatory disease plays an important role. Recent changes in European medical regulatory systems and healthcare delivery systems, budgetary constraints and the increasing influence of these and other third parties (for example the media and the internet) on the practice of medicine provide both opportunities and threats to the development of our profession. Driven by the need to provide better care for our patients, it is imperative that the dermatology profession identifies possible future scenarios for the practice and development of the speciality and implements strategies and programmes with optimum cost benefit for healthcare providers across all European countries.

Recognising the need to address these issues, seven academic dermatologists, all heads of university departments, formed the European Dermatology Forum (EDF) in 1997 as a non-profit professional organisation dedicated to improving the healthcare needs of dermatology patients in Europe. At its inception the EDF published a document setting out its mission and this continues to remain at the core of its activities.

The specific aims of the EDF are as follows:

  1. To define the necessary competencies and boundaries of dermatology and dermatovenereology professionals and the services they offer.  
  2. To improve knowledge concerning the scientific basis of skin and its diseases so that the medical community, government organisations, healthcare providers, patients and society in general may be better informed.  
  3. To promote the highest possible standards in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of skin diseases.
  4. To develop and maintain high quality in dermatology teaching and training programmes.  
  5. To provide independent advice and facilitate communication between dermatologists and European organisations concerned with improving the quality of skin care including industry, academia, government, patient organisations and society.

Importantly to the mission of the EDF is its relationship to other key European organisations. To this end, the EDF is complementary in its activities to the EADV, ESDR and UEMS, its sister societies within Europe. The EDF has more than 200 members, representing 30 nations across Europe, most of whom are heads of academic departments. Thus, we believe the EDF has the credibility to deal with outside parties concerning the future of European dermatology. The EDF aims to grow its membership organically. Thus the present policy is to expand membership by 10% per annum. Crucially, the EDF seeks to have members in all European countries, east and west.
The executive committee, comprising nine dermatologists from eight different European countries, is responsible for directing the activities of the EDF. Each member has a fixed term of office and new executive committee members are proposed and voted upon by the general membership at its Annual General Meeting (held at annual scientific meeting - see below). In turn, the executive elects two officers, the President and Secretary / Treasurer.

So what are the present EDF activities? To address issues concerning the scope of dermatology, the EDF has published a 'White Book' edited by Professor Peer Fritsch, Innsbruck, Austria, detailing the extent of what dermatology is and what is required to optimise efficiency and output. The book is aimed primarily at healthcare administrators, politicians and insurance companies to inform the debate on who is best placed to provide specific services. We are aware of several instances in which the 'White Book' has provided a valuable resource allowing healthcare providers to understand the scope of our profession. Presently a second edition of the 'White Book' is being written. It is hoped in the future to expand the book into a directory of European dermatology.
The EDF is aware that more facts concerning the extent of dermatological problems in Europe and their effects on mortality, morbidity and quality of life are required to convince politicians and healthcare providers of the importance of our specialty. To this end we have commissioned an epidemiological study (headed by Professor Thomas Diepgen, Germany) of skin diseases in Europe. We hope to report on the results of this soon. We anticipate that further pan-European studies will follow.
To improve the quality of dermatological care across Europe, a key EDF initiative is the development of pan-European guidelines on management of specific conditions headed by Professor Wolfram Sterry, Berlin, Germany. Presently we are tackling basal cell carcinoma, but intend to gradually 'roll out' evidence based guidelines on many key dermatological diseases. High standards in quality of care also require optimising teaching and training programmes. Thus, a new EDF initiative led by Professor Alberto Giannetti, Modena, Italy, is the organisation of an annual teaching congress for residents. This will be called 'Euroderm Excellence'.
Finally, but by no means least, the EDF holds an annual scientific meeting open to members and sponsors. This meeting takes place each January in Switzerland. The meeting is designed to address the many major issues impacting on dermatology, ranging from clinical to political issues. By these means we plan to inform our membership so that it can better provide leadership for our profession.





EDF Flyer 2017-2019


EDF White Book


Whitebook2017 150

+++ news +++

Euroderm Excellence 2017


November 21-24, 2017
Nice, France