Sri Lanka College of Dermatologists

The Sri Lanka College of Dermatologists (SLCD) founded in 2005 started as the Sri Lanka Association of Dermatologists (SLAD). The SLAD was founded in 1985 when there were only 15 dermatologists in Sri Lanka. To start an academic association was the brain child of the Late Dr. W. D. H. Perera. The vision conceived by the main pioneers, Late Dr. W. D. H. Perera, Dr. D. N. Atukorala and Dr. L. Ranasinghe was to advance knowledge, promote research and communication between the dermatologists nationally and internationally. This is indeed proved to be a success from the onset. In fact the association has gone from strength to strength promoting strong bonds between dermatologists here and abroad. A Board of Study in Dermatology has been eastablished at the Post Graduate Institiute of Medine of the University of Colombo. This has helped train dermatology specialists to work all over Sri Lanka.

The founder members of this association, 13 in number were as follows. Dr. L. Ranasinghe, Dr. D. N. Atukorala, Dr. W. D. H. Perera, Dr. (Mrs.) K. H. Weerasekara, Dr. G. M. Heen Nilame, Dr. T. Kasthuriratne, Dr. M. Nadarajah, Dr. W. Chularathne, Dr. P. V. B. Dharmagunawardene, Dr. G. H. Katugampola, Dr. M. J. P. de Silva, Dr. P. de S. Jayasinghe, and Dr. D. M. R. Gunawardene. The first Council consisted of Dr. L. Ranasinghe the President, Dr. Nadarajah the Vice President , Dr. D. N. Atukorala the secretary , Late Dr. W. D. H. the assistant secretary and treasurer. Dr Kasturiratne, Dr. (Mrs) K. H. Weerasekara and Late Dr. Heennilame were the Council members.

In keeping with the vision, the first annual academic session was held in 1986 in collaboration with the German Dermatological Society. Since 1991 academic sessions were held annually and 19 conferences were held so far. A number of international conferences were held in collaboration with dermatologists from all over the world. Links were established with International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS) as well. The trainees were offered scholarships and placements in different countries. In 1999 Sri Lanka joined the South Asian Regional Association of Dermatologists (SARAD) as a founder member. Sri Lanka hosted the SARAD conference in October 2003.

Besides the annual conferences, the association was responsible for organizing regional meetings in different hospitals of the country as well as in Colombo hospitals. From 2003 on every 3rd Tuesday of the month an update in dermatology is conducted for the trainees by the trainees.

The number of members has increased over the years and also the national and internal connections have been strengthened. The ties with the German Society of Dermatology (GDS) stand out in this respect and in year 2006 GDS donated funds for establishment of an Academic unit with a Chair in Dermatology in a university, which was established at the Faculty of Medical sciences, University of Sri Jayawardenepura.

The SLAD was officially converted to a College in May 2005 and the event was celebrated at the Annual Academic Sessions of March 2006. It was Dr. Kasturiratne, who first brought this idea during his period as President and Dr. Prasad Kumarasinghe, who revived it and initiated the change during his tenure as President in 2004. The actual legal change was made in 2005. Blue and gold were chosen as College colours under the guidance of Late Dr. W. D. H. Perera. The logo remains the same with only a change in lettering. A mace and ceremonial cloaks was also made. Thus much commitment, hard work and dedication has resulted in creating a vibrant, academically advanced and strong dermatological community in Sri Lanka.

Written by Prof M. S. A. Perera and edited by Dr. D. N. Atukorala 30.01.2012

I suggest that all Presidents secretaries and treasures names from the inception are documented somewhere as some have done service during difficult times and are no longer in the college.