We were delighted to chat to Dr Hugues Cartier, Dermatologist and IMCAS Global Course Co-ordinator.
Can you tell us a bit about your background and what led to you becoming a dermatologist?
The question could simply be summed up as the fact that my father was also a dermatologist. As far back as I can remember, I have always liked to understand how nature in the broadest sense worked. Even though I considered the profession of architect because I was afraid of losing a certain form of creative spirit when I became a doctor. I think that the most important thing in medicine is the human relationship that is created between patients and a doctor because it is irreplaceable even by the best of techniques or artificial intelligence (AI).
Who has inspired you in your career and why?
When choosing my specialty, I thought about psychiatry or gynaecology-obstetrics. But during my first internship as a resident, I wanted to go to a dermatology department to get an idea because obviously with a dermatologist father, there was a discussion!
The richness of dermatology is probably that we can treat all ages, and vary its activity throughout its exercise. You can also manage leg ulcers, scars, psoriasis, access a request for rejuvenation or track melanoma. I never feel bored by practising dermatology in a private clinic or hospital. Everyone can find satisfaction: financial, scientific, human.
What has been the best piece of advice that you have received in your career and what advice would you offer to those following in your footsteps?
The Hippocratic oath is probably the best guide ever! Stay curious and travel to enrich yourself with others. In dermatology, you have to see a lot to know. I went to work in Africa, in French Guyana and that's probably where I saw the most beautiful dermatology. The one that I dreamt of seeing when I was a young dermatologist, if I may say so, because through a disease, there is also the patient and we must not forget it.
I have evolved in my daily practice and having been President of the French Laser Group and being Vice-President of the French Society of Aesthetic Medicine, it clearly shows that the practice of dermatology varies throughout one's life.
How have things changed since you first started working in dermatology?
Everything has changed: human relationships, new drugs as biotherapy, toxin and fillers, laser technology and dermoscopy, the medical and judicial environment, the demands of patients, competition between doctors, medical information for all and not just doctors, pressure from the media and industry and, of course, social networking!
We’re aware that you are one of the Course Co-ordinators of the IMCAS World Congress – what do you think will be the highlights of the 2020 meeting in Paris?
Among the more than 300 sessions and the 800 speakers, it is very difficult to know what will stand out most. It's an exciting congress because it makes you curious. You have to get out of your comfort zone and go to see what you are least interested in at first sight. This is where we can have the most beautiful surprises. I would add that the partnerships with academic societies and the day of young dermatologists are novelties to encourage. Because it shows that IMCAS seeks the highest scientific level and that it helps our future to have a congress that can give everyone a chance. I have a lot of gratitude and respect towards the doctors who allowed me to express myself in public in front of a meeting of doctors more than 20 years ago. Benjamin Ascher is one of them and today the scientific coordination of the Congress with the IMCAS team is a formidable challenge.
And finally, if you have any spare time, how do you relax?
I miss golf! But my back reminds me that it's not for now. A cigar as an amateur, dotted reading between trips, and big children who will always remain small. The days are definitely too short!