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  • Ivan Bristow

Primary Care Dermatology Society Opens its Membership to Podiatrists & other Healthcare Professi

In September 2003, myself and three colleagues (Julia Potter, Kate Springett and Jane O’Connor) organised the first Podiatric Dermatology Conference in the UK at the University of Northampton. Speaking at that first meeting was Dr Stephen Kownacki, a local GP with a special interest in dermatology who was also chair of the Primary Care Dermatology Society at that time. The PCDS were an educational group who were committed to improving GP education in the diagnosis and management of skin problems. Over the years, I have attended many of their meetings around the UK and was always impressed by the speakers and subjects covered at the meetings.

Above: Dr Stephen Kownacki, Former Chair of the PCDS speaking

at the SCP Conference in Bournemouth, 2010

Today, (May 1st 2019), the Primary Care Dermatology Society (PCDS) has announced that membership is now open to all within the primary health care team in the UK. For all HCPC registered Chiropodists/Podiatrists with an interest in dermatology this represents a fantastic opportunity for those wishing to learn more about the subject and network with a national group of like-minded healthcare professionals. The annual membership fee for Podiatrists is just £30 and includes the benefit reduced rate attendance at many of their local and national meetings around the UK.

All the details can be found on the PCDS website:

The official press release reads as follows:

The PCDS was originally formed in 1994 by a group of GP skin specialists who recognised the need for a forum in which GPs could exchange views on primary care dermatology, develop skills and progress clinical research in this exciting and developing field of medicine. Affiliated to the British Association of Dermatologists, the PCDS is now the leading national society for any member of the primary healthcare team who has an interest in dermatology. There are currently over 4500 members here in the UK.

The Trustees of the Society took the decision to open membership to all members of the primary healthcare team recognising the importance of joined-up team working in today’s NHS. Around 25% of the primary care workload involves dermatology and many common skin conditions are managed entirely within the community. This workload is also likely to increase as ongoing changes in funding and the NHS structure move more patient care into the community. Thus, in collaboration with the consultant dermatologist, the GP, and the wider primary care team will be increasingly involved in the management of chronic skin diseases.

The PCDS successfully represents the membership and the Society’s objectives in the UK. In addition, the development of new roles in dermatology service provision require a voice and forum for support and discussion which the PCDS is ideally placed to provide.

The Society is the leading provider of dermatological educational conferences in the UK.

Details of all meetings are listed in the events diary on the PCDS website and in PCDS Bulletin (quarterly membership journal)

Courses include:

o Essential Dermatology – Series 1 & 2

o Dermoscopy for Absolute Beginners

o Dermoscopy for Intermediates

o Advanced Dermoscopy

o Surgical Training

Full Benefits of membership are listed on the website –

All the details for membership can be found on the website for membership application forms and details of all educational conferences as well as an extensive of online resource on a range of skin conditions.


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