Advocacy Guide for Residents

The mission of ASDSA is to speak in a unified voice to promote, protect and advance surgical and cosmetic dermatology through education and advocacy. ASDSA advances the practice of dermatologic surgery by advocating for its members and patients. As a resident dermatologic surgeon, YOU are uniquely qualified to advocate for patient safety and the field of dermatologic surgery.

If we are not advocating for ourselves, legislators, regulators, and other policymakers are only hearing from others and may not fully understand the risks and benefits associated with the policies presented to them. It is crucial we show up and demonstrate to policymakers how important topics such as practitioner misrepresentation (truth in advertising (TIA)) for patient safety and Medicare payment reform and other fair payment initiatives are to preserving patient access to care. ASDSA provides members with resources, tools and information and offers a variety of ways to get involved in important advocacy efforts.

What Are Our Advocacy Priorities?

Learn where ASDSA stands on key issues through our Position Statements. ASDSA has  statements on more than 25 topics, including on Delegation and Protecting the Public From Practitioner Misrepresentation (TIA). These statements help underpin the need for patient safety, and highlight board certified dermatologists, on-site supervision by physicians and our work to keep the physician as the head of the health care team.

Three ASDSA-created pieces of model legislation help bring our policy visions to the states. Whether adopted in whole or part, or even utilized in the regulatory arena, they are tangible ways members can impact state policy: 

How Can You Get Involved?

  • Volunteer to be an Advocacy Ambassador and work on advancing issues at the federal, state and local levels that affect dermatologic surgeons.
  • Build personal relationships with Members of Congress during the annual Federal In-District Fly-in.
  • Participate in the Emerging Top Advocate program to earn points to be considered for recognition at the ASDS / ASDSA Annual Meeting.
  • Volunteer for an ASDSA Work Group (Federal Affairs, State Affairs & Policy Priorities).
  • Connect with ASDSA on social media and promote policy initiatives and patient protection campaigns.

Share Patient Stories to Aid Legislative Story Telling!

  • While data, facts and figures are extremely helpful in supporting policy positions, the human component can be compelling and make the position come to life. Faces, names and experiences make the need for change real and more meaningful.
  • Share your story with ASDSA regarding patient safety issues, delegation, in-network care, board certification, children’s sunscreen use, mixing and diluting of drugs, surprise billing and medical spa safety.


Submit your adverse events to the CAPER database!

  • ASDSA and the Northwestern University Department of Dermatology launched the Cutaneous Procedures Adverse Events Reporting (CAPER) in February 2021 to collect data on patients experiencing adverse events from procedures performed by non-physician providers.
  • CAPER is a voluntary reporting system that gathers patients’ adverse events (AEs) encountered from any type of dermatologic procedure including surgery, laser and cosmetic procedures. CAPER aims to help with safety monitoring for the specialty; identify practice and/or education gaps associated with adverse events; and identify any potential risk factors for adverse events.
    • You can report an event whether it occurred under your care or the care of another provider.
  • Reporting to CAPER has been made easier.
    • There are two methods to report: an online fillable form or a fillable PDF that can be emailed to or faxed to 312-695-0044. CAPER also has a dedicated phone line for questions or issues: 312-695-6782.

What ASDSA Resources Support You During Residency?