1300 85 66 95

Experience all aspects of skin cancer surgery within a multi-disciplinary setting and with a range of internationally renowned experts in different skin cancer surgery-related disciplines.

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to welcome you to the 1st International Skin Cancer Surgery Masterclass to be held in Auckland. While I have been part of several masterclasses held in Australia or Europe over the years, this is the first one in my hometown, Auckland, and I am excited to showcase a bit of New Zealand.

As a writer, I’m always fascinated by new words, and the theme of this event is Comhar, an Irish word that I came across when I was speaking at the Dalkey Book Festival in Ireland. Comhar (pronounced ‘Core’) is a word that means work, mutual assistance and partnership: “The Power of Working Together.” Comhar originally appeared in the context of co-operative ploughing between neighbouring farms, but this Irish word now evokes the general notion of co-operation and shared work. Sometimes in medicine, we all end up working within siloes of our own specialties, with poor inter-disciplinary communication skills, and therefore in this course I am putting together for you, I would like to showcase skin cancer surgery within a multi-disciplinary setting and feature many international experts in different disciplines dealing with skin cancer.

Skin Cancer Surgery has gained more and more interest in recent years as a sub-specialty of its own, given it overlaps with many traditional specialties like plastic surgery, dermatology, general practice, general surgery, and otolaryngology. However, with the advent of dermoscopy, and increasing dermato-pathology knowledge, we now realise that in the context of skin cancer surgery as a sub-specialty, it goes beyond merely cutting out skin cancers – but includes the whole gamut of skin imaging for diagnosis, planning surgery, margin control, reconstructive techniques, and adjuvant therapies such as radio- and immuno-oncology.

First and foremost, this is a surgical masterclass with ‘tips and techniques’ from my personal experience, collegial discussions, and presentations on reconstructive surgery conundrums. There will be a noted international plastic surgeon, Dr. Innana Weiss, who will share her experiences in cutaneous surgery for skin cancer, and offer an international perspective.

Secondly, there will be sessions on dermatopathology, radiation-oncology, biostatistics, and haematology – showcasing recent advances, everyday patient management issues, practical perspectives, and ideas to improve our clinical skin cancer practice.

These sessions end up making this event a masterclass, and a mini-conference – aimed at experienced skin cancer doctors seeking to further their knowledge.

The proposed venue is the magnificent Sir Paul Reeves building and I will also showcase some of my multi-disciplinary work with engineering and biomedical teams at the Auckland University of Technology in the field of skin cancer surgery and melanoma research.

Optional events planned include sailing America’s Cup yachts, visiting amazing sculpture gardens and of course a wee bit of Kiwi winetasting. I look forward to hosting you here and making this a wonderful Kiwi experience.

See you in November 2017,

Sharad Paul

Adjunct Professor, Auckland University of Technology
Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Surgery, University of Auckland
Senior Lecturer, Skin Cancer, The University of Queensland.

Author and academic, Dr .Sharad Paul initially embarked on surgical training in general/plastic surgery before becoming more interested in skin cancer diagnosis, dermatoscopy and research.  His Skin Surgery Clinic has performed over 35,000 operations, making the centre known for one of the largest series of skin cancer patients worldwide. He is an adjunct Professor of the Auckland University of Technology. He is also a Senior Lecturer (skin cancer) at the School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Australia and a Hon. Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Surgery at the University of Auckland. He established surgical skills workshops for skin cancer doctors in 1996 via the University of Auckland and has a long list of conference keynote presentations and publications in peer-reviewed journals. In 2016, Dr Sharad Paul co-authored ‘Clinical Cases in Skin Cancer Surgery and Treatment’ – a textbook published by Springer USA/UK as a guide for doctors, dermatologists and surgeons that work in the field of skin cancer. In 2012, he received the NZ Medical Association Chair's Award – New Zealand’s highest medical honour, only awarded to one doctor (at a time) across all specialties for 'outstanding contribution to healthcare in New Zealand.' And in 2015 he received the Ko Awatea Excellence Award for 'Leading (health) Improvement on a Global Scale' -- awarded at APAC, Asia-Pacific's largest healthcare conference that noted 'Dr Sharad Paul's role in improving skin cancer management, education and patient-centred care internationally, across several countries.' He has also been awarded the Distinguished Fellowship of the Royal NZ College of General Practitioners.


Program highlights

  • "Tips and techniques" sessions with experienced skin cancer surgeons
  • Reconstructive surgery conundrums with international plastic surgeons
  • Bleeding disorders and cutaneous manifestations of haematological conditions
  • Recent advances in Dermatopathology and Dermato-Oncology
  • Dr Sharad's multi-disciplinary work with engineering and biomedical teams in the field of skin cancer surgery and melanoma research



Social program includes: America’s cup sailing

As much as we love to learn, we love to have fun. The academic program will be complemented by a fantastic social program including America’s Cup sailing. Be part of the crew, take the helm, work the grinders, or simply sit back and enjoy the ride, taking in the sights of Auckland, the “City of Sails”! Discover the excitement of sailing these impressive vessels which were once part of the action of America’s Cup – the world’s oldest active sports trophy and most prestigious sailing regatta.


Program outline

Qualifies for RACGP 40 Category 1 QI&CPD points. ACRRM points pending.

Day 1: Thursday, 16 November 2017
Time Session Topic Presenter
08:00am - 08:30am Registration Arrival, tea and coffee  
08:30am - 09:00am Welcome Introduction AUT / Maori Welcome Dr Sharad Paul and Paul Elmslie
09:00am - 10:30am Masterclass

Nose and cheek reconstruction

  • Skin lines for planning cheek closures
  • Vascularity of the cheek
  • Planning closures involving both skin lines and vascular zones
  • Risks of ectropion and how to avoid it
Dr Sharad Paul
10:30am - 10:45am Morning Tea    
10:45am - 12:15pm  Practical

Practical - Overview of oblique sigmoid island flaps and the Golden Spiral scalp flap

Dr Sharad Paul
12:15pm - 01:00pm Lunch    
01:00pm - 02:30pm Derm-pathology Session 1 Dermatopathology Dr Simon Clark
02:30pm - 02:45pm Afternoon Tea    
02:45pm - 3:15pm Presentation

Melanoma: What’s hair got to do with this?

  • The theory behind hair and melanoma pathogenesis
  • Understanding sun damage and stem cell mechanisms
  • Research that explains how radiation can affect skin via hair
  • The processes behind UV damage
Dr Sharad Paul and Xiyong Huang
  Social program Optional: America's Cup Yacht Sailing  
Day 2: Friday, 17 November 2017
Time Session Topic Presenter
08:15am - 08:30am Arrival Tea and coffee  
08:30am - 09:30am Derm-pathology Session 2 Dermatopathology and case study discussion Dr Simon Clark
09:30am - 10:30am  Presentation

Surgery and anticoagulants

  • Warfarin and Heparin: Mechanisms and when to stop before surgery
  • Newer anticoagulants like Dabigatran: managing complications
  • Other drugs like Aspirin and Clopidogrel
  • Managing patients with bleeding disorders
Dr Paul Ockelford
10:30am - 11:00am  Morning Tea    
11:00am-12:15pm  Masterclass

Lower limb reconstruction after skin cancer

  • Understanding skin lines of the lower limb
  • Understanding vascularity and the "surgical plane" of the lower limb
  • Flaps and grafts and fascial release techniques
Dr Sharad Paul
12:15pm - 01:15pm  Lunch    
01:15pm - 01.45pm  Presentation

A mathematical view of scalp skin anisotropy

  • Understanding the role of mathematics in skin anisotropy and surgery
  • Statistics in the context of comparing surgical methods
  • Student t-test and statistical methods explained for the physician
Dr Robin Hankin
01:45pm - 02:15pm  Presentation

Skin imaging technology

  • Overview of skin imaging methods
  • AI in skin diagnosis and the future
  • MetaOptima's Molescope and DermEngine
Dr Maryam Sadeghi
02:15pm - 02:45pm  Presentation

Animation and medical education

  • Animation videos in medical education
  • Collaboration in medical research: examples on working with Dr Sharad Paul using animation
  • Animation and VR possibilities
John Piper
AUT Animation school
02:45pm - 03:00pm  Afternoon Tea    
03:00pm - 05:00pm Practical Practical - Lower limb dissection and fascial release flap Dr Sharad Paul
Day 3: Saturday, 18 November 2017
Time Session Topic Presenter
08:00am - 08:15am  Arrival Tea and Coffee  
08:15am - 09:15am Presentation

Radiotherapy and Skin Cancer

  • The role of radiotherapy in skin cancer 
  • How are doses and regimens calculated?
  • Side effects and risks and newer methods
Dr Benji Benjamin
09:15am - 10:15am Masterclass

Scalp reconstruction

  • Overview of scalp anatomy
  • Understanding skin lines of the scalp
  • Newer flap techniques for closing scalp wounds
Dr Sharad Paul
10:15am - 10:30am Morning tea    
10:30am - 11:30am Case studies

Case studies session 2

** Delegates, please bring your challenging cases for discussion. Brief presentation with whiteboard discussion.

Dr Sharad Paul
11:30am Conclusion Closing comments  
  Social Program Waiheke Trip: Ferry and Dinner  


Your speakers are widely regarded as some of the world’s foremost specialists in skin cancer medicine and business management, including:

Dr Simon Clark
Dermatopathologist, Australia

Dr Simon Clark graduated in 1984 from the University of Otago in New Zealand. After completing his pathology training at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, he held academic positions at the University of Melbourne. He undertook a fellowship in dermatopathology at the Skin and Cancer Foundation of Australia in Sydney, where he subsequently practiced as a dermatopathologist, and now has a private practice in dermatopathology. Simon runs the pathology component of the postgraduate certificate courses in skin cancer medicine at The University of Queensland and lectures in the Masters of Medicine course.

Simon has been involved in dermatopathology education for more than 20 years, training registrars in dermatology, pathology and plastic surgery. More recently he has been active in GP education. He is author of many papers in pathology in peer reviewed journals. He holds a fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia and is a member of the International Society of Dermatopathology.

One of the best known dermatopathologists in Australia, Simon was recently appointed a visiting professor in dermatology at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences.


Dr Paul Ockelford
Haematologist, New Zealand

Dr Paul Ockelford is a clinical haematologist with particular expertise in haemostasis and thrombosis, but consults on a wide range of malignant and non-malignant haematological disorders. In addition to his consulting practice in Epsom, Paul has a part-time appointment to the Auckland City Hospital Haematology Unit and is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Auckland School of Medicine. Paul was the former head of the New Zealand Medical Association.

Paul will speak about cutaneous manifestations of haematological malignancies and also educate participants on managing patients with bleeding disorders and blood-thinning medications.


Dr Benji Benjamin
Radiation Oncologist, New Zealand


Dr Benji Benjamin was previously clinical director of radiation oncology at Auckland City Hospital where he was a specialist for 26 years. He was named an Officer New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2008 New Year's Honours list for his services to medicine and the community. Benji is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and NZ College of Radiologists and Dean of the Oceania University of Medicine.

Benji has over 140 publications and presentations in medical journals and international conferences. He has also has participated in many clinical trials and has a keen interest in head and neck cancer.

Benji will speak about radiation oncology and skin cancer – indications, modalities and methods of dosage calculation of radiation doses.


Dr Maryam Sadeghi
Meta Optima Technology, Canada

Dr Maryam Sadeghi is CEO of MetaOptima Technology, a company that grew out of Simon Fraser University Innovation Office’s Venture Connection Program in Canada. Maryam won a prize in the Plug & Play Silicon Valley competition in Vancouver in July 2014. Her team also developed the UV Canada app for skin cancer awareness and prevention. It was released in June 2011 and donated to the BC Cancer Agency at Vancouver General Hospital.

Maryam’s PhD research was on skin cancer prevention and analysing dermoscopic images for early skin cancer diagnosis using intelligent computer technologies – that was recognised with a 2012 Innovation Challenge Award from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Maryam will speak about skin imaging, her research and new technologies.


Dr Robin Hankin
Auckland University of Technology

Dr Robin Hankin is a computational statistician with interests including theoretical ecology, multivariate Gaussian Processes, and computational combinatorics.  He has worked at various UK universities and studied at prestigious Trinity College, Cambridge.  He works closely with other researchers in medicine and other fields on statistics, Computational Statistics and research methods.

Robin will speak about a mathematical view of skin dynamics.


Xiyong Huang
Auckland University of Technology

Xiyong Huang is a current PhD student in the Auckland University of Technology’s Institute of Biomedical Technologies. He has completed a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Hons) at Auckland University of Technology. As his final year project, he investigated the thermal diffusivities of human hairs and achieved expected outcomes relating to the hypothesis that a group of human hair may play a role in melanomagenesis. He continues to further investigate the UV transmission of human hairs as his PhD research and aims to find the evidence supporting the hypothesis.

John Piper
Head of Digital Animation, Auckland University of Technology

John Piper originally spent over 10 years in the advertising industry before joining Auckland University of Technology’s Graphic Design programmes. Four years ago, he set up the Digital Design major for the Bachelor of Design Degree. This gave the School of Art & Design a 'moving image' component to its degree structure. He collaborates on various medical and movie animation projects, including with the world-renowned Weta Workshop that has been behind major Hollywood blockbusters like Lord of The Rings.

John’s team will showcase some of their work with applications in medical education and skin cancer.


Three-Day Masterclass


Social Program Guest



Auckland University of Technology

Located in the heart of Auckland, the campus is accessible to the cultural and commercial amenities of the country's largest city, while harbour views and nearby parks add to its attractiveness. With its impressive 12-storey tower and glass-roofed atrium, The award-winning Sir Paul Reeves Building is right at the heart of our city campus, connecting the surrounding buildings, including the Business School, by way of Governor Fitzroy Plaza.



Book your Travel and Stay

Special room rates for HealthCert delegates have been secured through the Crowne Plaza. 

Hotel Pullman Auckland
Corner Princes Street and Waterloo Quadrant, Auckland,
Phone: +64 9-353 1000
WebsiteHotel Pullman Auckland
Preferred rate $295 per night

Please CLICK HERE to make your booking.

Please note availability is limited. The above rate is available until 19 November 2017.

How can we help you?

Please don't hesitate to get in touch with one of our Education Advisors if you have any questions, require more information or would like to discuss your learning requirements. We are here to help and will be sure to tailor your education pathway to your current expertise, interests and career goals.

Ask a question