American Society for Dermatologic Surgery

American Society for Dermatologic Surgery

October 26, 2019
2 min read

Survey shows dermatology trainees, faculty interested in innovation

You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact

CHICAGO — Dermatology residents and faculty members are interested in receiving training in biomedical innovation, according to data from a survey presented at the ASDS Annual Meeting.

“We performed the clinical innovation survey as part of our Magic Wand Initiative ( The Magic Wand Initiative was started by Lilit Garibyan, MD, PhD, and Rox Anderson, MD, at Massachusetts General Hospital. The idea behind the initiative was to develop a systems-based process to teach clinicians the process of innovation because, as physicians, we learn how to treat patients very well, but we don’t learn how to go from identifying a problem, finding a solution to bringing that solution to market” Kachiu C. Lee, MD, MPH, a dermatologist in private practice in Ardmore, Penn., told Healio Dermatology.

In May 2019, Lee and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional descriptive survey among residents and faculty at Stanford, Vanderbilt and Brown to determine understanding and practice gaps in biomedical innovation and identify perceived benefits of such innovation. The study was then extended to the University of Iowa and Emory.

Seventy-one respondents completed the survey: 37% residents/fellows, 36% assistant professors, 10% associate professors and 17% professors. More than half of respondents (73%) “were very or extremely interested in identifying and solving unmet needs,” according to Lee. Formal training in innovation was reported as part of their careers among 17% of respondents, whereas this type of training was of interest to 77% of them.

Barriers to contributing to innovation included lack of time for 71%, and insufficient training for 68%.

“We weren’t surprised to see how many people were interested in solving problems, but we were surprised by how the desire to identify unmet needs and solve them increases with increased patient exposure,” she said.

Lee and colleagues were also surprised at how few people actually received formal training in education on biomedical innovation. “That was very surprising because all of the schools surveyed have very strong entrepreneurship and innovation centers associated with them; Stanford is well-known for innovation and Brown has well-respected innovation and entrepreneurship center where even undergrads are being taught these skills,” she told Healio Dermatology. “So, they have the resources available but physicians are not utilizing these resources.”

Respondents viewed biomedical innovation as a way to be creative (92%), grow fulfillment in patient care (88%), reduce burnout (82%), elicit joy in their work (80%) and create empowerment (78%).

“We’re taking concrete steps to give clinicians the tools to identify and solve clinician-led problems. In a pilot project we conducted at the University of Utah with Stephanie Klein, MD, involvement in the Magic Wand Initiative decreased burnout and gave physicians more fulfillment in their work. But it was a very nice finding, especially because burnout is a hot topic and issue today among physicians and people in medicine in general,” she said. – by Stacey L. Adams



Lee KC, et al. Innovation education in dermatology. Presented at: American Society for Dermatologic Surgery annual meeting; Oct. 24-27, 2019; Chicago.


Disclosures: Lee reports no relevant financial disclosures.