The South African Dermatological Society of South Africa (“the Society”) boasts a fascinating history from its inception in 1946 to its current position of influence and importance in South African Medicine.
In the late 1930’s and early 1940’s the Federal Council and the Medical Association had deliberated the need of extending the educational facilities for the training of specialists in South Africa and in 1952 the College of Physicians and Surgeons was founded as a private non-profitmaking company with the constitution of the Royal Colleges of the United Kingdom as its model. The Function of the college was to prepare and examine candidates for a diploma fellowship of examination to be undertaken by an examining and credentials committee. Candidates who obtained such a diploma could submit the certificate to the Medical Council for registration as a specialist.
There was now no need to study overseas to obtain the higher qualification necessary for specialist registration.
By 1960, sulphur drugs and antibiotics had made the practice of Venereology a non-viable economic proposition and membership of the Society from now on was mainly dermatologists.
In 1974, the group became officially known as the Society in terms of an amendment to the original constitution. Henceforth, the official name of the group was now the Dermatological Society of South Africa. The Society’s executive now played an important role in the requirements for future dermatological education for both undergraduates and graduates.