Young Dermatologist Achievement Award 2019: Thiago Jeunon de Sousa Vargas
18 November 2019
Every four years, in conjunction with the World Congress of Dermatology, the ILDS recognises young dermatologists who have made an outstanding contribution to international dermatology, particularly for patients in under-served areas of the world.
The Young Dermatologist Achievement Award (YDAA) is presented to five individuals during the Congress; one from each ILDS Region: Asia Pacific; Europe; Latin America and the Caribbean; South Asia, the Middle East and Africa; USA and Canada. Dr Thiago Jeunon de Sousa Vargas was selected for the Latin America inc. Caribbean region from the nominations submitted by ILDS Members.
My speciality is dermatopathology. Being originally a dermatologist I have the great opportunity to see patients with challenging clinical scenarios in our dermatopathology facility to make a clinical evaluation, select sites for the biopsy and study the pathological findings.
When I was in medical school I engaged in a research project in which every Saturday I went to an endemic area of leprosy nearby Rio de Janeiro city. This area is very poor and has limited resources for health assistance. We had the opportunity to collaborate in field actions like visiting contacts or patients who lost follow up, making educative presentations and skin examinations in public events or seeing patients in the basic health unit. In this period, I had the opportunity to be in touch with the needs of disadvantaged patients that usually doctors in Rio de Janeiro city are not completely aware of. Afterwards, I participated in several voluntary health actions targeting skin cancer, leprosy or dermatological conditions in general, having the opportunity to conceptualize and coordinate such action as part of the directorship of Rio de Janeiro section of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology for several years.
Surely helping patients to reach a correct diagnosis on a daily basis is very rewarding. I am also very proud to have contributed to the training of dermatology residents since the beginning of my career. It makes me feel that I am adding value to the community independently of my own geographic and time limitations. As the president of the Rio de Janeiro section of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology, I am very proud to enforce dermatologists representation towards civil society.
In the WCD in Vancouver in 2015 I had the opportunity to give a lecture about non-langerhans cell Histiocytosis in the Rising Star category. I was very happy when I was nominated and later awarded with the YDAA. It made me feel I am on the right track. In 2019, I also participated in the ILDS Assembly of Delegates meeting representing Brasil. It was a very interesting experience.
During the WCD in Milan, I had the opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones. It is really impressive how the WCD gives us such a great opportunity to connect with dermatologists from all around the world. It is also very impressive how I could watch so many lectures of so many leaders of different fields in dermatology. The Congress was really outstanding in several ways. The subjects, variety and the quality of the lectures were excellent. The organization and care with the attendees could be felt in every detail. And the opportunity to connect with colleagues from other regions is really unparalleled.
In the future, I plan to start a fellowship program in dermatopathology in Rio de Janeiro/Brazil in the next few years and contribute to the development of the speciality here.
Dr Thiago Jeunon de Sousa Vargas