Paul M. Friedman, MD, president of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS), announced several new initiatives for his term, which began at the annual Business Meeting on April 29, 2022.
Dr. Friedman, a board-certified dermatologist, is the director of Dermatology & Laser Surgery Center of Houston, Texas. He is passionate about supporting philanthropic causes through his work and wants to ignite this passion within the ASLMS membership.
“In the coming year, I will be looking to the membership to bring their talents forward to help change lives with lasers,” said Friedman. “There are plenty of needs and opportunities. My goal is to bridge the gap and help those patients who desperately need our expertise.
One of my main initiatives in this upcoming year is going to be a philanthropic campaign to create a national directory of board-certified ASLMS members who volunteer their time and devices to remove branding tattoos free of charge to help sex trafficking survivors and their recovery process.”
In Dr. Friedman’s presentation to the membership, he shared that human trafficking is the second-largest and fastest-growing criminal industry in the world, with up to 300,000 people at risk of being trafficked in the U.S. alone. Many victims of sex trafficking are branded by their traffickers with tattoos conveying ownership, including names, symbols, initials, and barcodes. This problem generates a desperate need for support during recovery for thousands of survivors by providing safe and effective pro bono laser tattoo removal to allow survivors to reclaim their bodies. Not only would tattoo removal be helpful for recovery, it could also provide a unique opportunity to create a repository of sex trafficking tattoo images to help improve identification competency.
An additional initiative will be to work in conjunction with the Vascular Birthmark Foundation to create best practice guidelines for safely treating vascular birthmarks.
“Creation of a consensus of uniform standards for the treatment of vascular birthmarks with laser therapy is well overdue,” said Friedman. “Members of this prestigious society have developed and optimized the incredible technology that we all utilize on a daily basis. By partnering with organizations like the Vascular Birthmark Foundation, we can offer our expertise and devices to those who would not otherwise be able to afford treatments.”
Research has shown that laser education in residency programs is lacking. Since ASLMS is the top society for laser education, Dr. Friedman will continue to expand access to the educational opportunities available through ASLMS for residents and early career scientists.
Consumer education is also at the forefront of his initiatives this coming year. As patients increasingly use social media for research on cosmetic procedures, consumer education from reputable sources, namely core cosmetic physicians, is imperative. Dr. Friedman believes that the ASLMS can expand its efforts to provide patient education and counteract misinformation regarding cosmetic procedures.
“As an interdisciplinary and international professional society, the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery can help foster increased presence by promoting social media collaboration among core cosmetic physicians,” said Friedman.
The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc. (ASLMS) is the largest multi-disciplinary professional organization dedicated to the development and application of lasers and related technology for health care applications. ASLMS promotes excellence in patient care by advancing biomedical application of lasers and other related technologies worldwide. ASLMS members include physicians, surgeons, nurses, and allied health professionals representing multiple specialties, physicists involved in product development, biomedical engineers, biologists, industry representatives and manufacturers. For more information on the Society’s mission, vision, and leaders, visit ASLMS | About ASLMS