WCD Spots – Dr. Marc Yale
Dr. Marc Yale, Keynote speaker for WCD2023, shares his experience with Cicatricial Pemphigoid, inspiring him to help advocate for others with the rare autoimmune blistering skin disease through the Collaborative Global Network for Rare Diseases Panel of Experts, which ensures a lasting impact on the lives of people living with rare diseases.
Marc Yale. Hi, I’m Marc Yale, the GlobalSkin Board president, former executive director of the IPPS (International Pemphigus and Pemphigoid Foundation) and a rare disease skin patient.
How important is a global community for dematological diseases?
MY. I have to say the significance is immense: when people come together globally, we are much stronger and we are able to share our diverse experiences. We are able to create new discoveries and challenges to those potential problems and create solutions that allow us to better serve our patients and our communities around the globe. When we collaborate together, really the entire dermatology community (including dermatologists, dermatology nurses, patient organizations, researchers, and even industry, we are better able to address the impacts that these diseases have on patients and really be able to elevate and prioritize health policy at a global level.
What other disciplines does global collaboration for dermatology include?
MY. The global dermatology coalition that has been created is really a patient-led, multi stakeholder group of like-minded organizations including again, dermatology patients, organizations, healthcare professionals and researchers and industry and the coalition is designed to advocate to the WHO (World Health Organization) and other decision makers around the globe to elevate healthcare and prioritize dermatological diseases. This multi-stakeholder group is focused on improving patient outcomes globally, raising awareness of the burdens of skin diseases. It’s a multifaceted coalition that impacts all of these skin diseases and the collaboration is really needed because the reality is that is very difficult for patients that are faced facing skin diseases and together these organizations that are in this coalition are really actively working to improve the outcomes of these patients globally.
This means improving access to things like diagnosis or delay in diagnosis, care, treatments, and also to be able to provide the support that skin patients need, when they need it, no matter where they live in the world, and that’s very exciting.
The coalition really speaks as one voice because people living with dermatological diseases, their caregivers, and their families really deserve to live without the stigma that they have from these diseases and they deserve not to be minimized and to really be able to achieve a higher quality of life.
What is the post-pandemic scientific approach to dermatological care?
MY. Many areas of healthcare dermatology were really caught off guard by the fast-spreading dangerous virus that triggered a range of challenges for patients seeking treatments while facing social distancing laws that spiked the anxiety levels leading to lots of inflammatory reactions which in turn worsened, existing, or new skin conditions.
It has been a challenge and a vicious cycle but we need to be much more prepared for the next pandemic and be prepared for the future. Our patient organization members in global skin need to have that social dialogue, whether it’s through social media, or being able to communicate and talk about those things is very important.
Can teledermatology improve the doctor-patient relationship?
MY. Face to face interaction is still preferable, patients really need to be able to develop those relationships with the doctor and stimulate that doctor patient relationship.
In many situations tele dermatology helps to augment care and it can also help build connection between the doctors and the patients. There are many barriers to access when it comes to a patient’s being able to see a doctor and being able to develop that relationship so tele dermatology has definitely some advantage to that. The one bright spot about tele dermatology, especially during the pandemic, is that it provided more opportunity for continuity of care in a crisis situation and also it probably accelerated access to specialists and made things a little bit more efficient.
With dermatology, there were obviously a lot of times talking about very complex diseases so that face-to-face interaction sometimes is important, but I think there is a place for tele dermatology.
We need to make sure that we manage our expectations and we utilize it where it is necessary and where it can be most effective.
Thanks for the opportunity to talk today and discuss the multi-stakeholder approach to dermatology.
I look forward to seeing everybody in Singapore next year in 2023, see you soon!