Dr Susi Freeman, Australia
Dr Susi Freeman was one of the first ten women to train in dermatology in Sydney, Australia in the 1960s. She ran the Contact & Occupational Dermatitis Clinic at the Skin & Cancer Foundation in Sydney from 1979-2008. She trained at St John’s Hospital for Diseases of the Skin in London in 1981 and also with Dr Howard Maibach in San Francisco. She was a member of the ICDRG from 1994-2008 and also a founding member of the Asian Pacific Environmental & Occupational Dermatology (APEOD) group from 1991-2008. She was awarded the highest award of the Australasian College of Dermatology, the Silver Medal, in 2009. She had 92 publications and her major publications encompassed shoe dermatitis, oral lichen planus caused by allergy to mercury in amalgam fillings, a review of occupational dermatitis in NSW Australia, corticosteroid allergy, unclassified endogenous eczema & adult onset eczema, photo allergic contact dermatitis to sunscreens, reactions to sculptured acrylic nails, protein contact dermatitis in food workers, plant contact dermatitis and contact cheilitis. Susi enjoyed attending meetings all over the world, with her husband Ron, who was an ENT surgeon.
One of her registrars, now a distinguished dermatologist, Dr Margot Whitfield, recalls Susi’s immense contribution to dermatology in Australia : “Susi Freeman is my hero. She taught her dermatology trainees that, if we believe that there is an answer to what is causing a problem, we should go looking for it and never give up. She also taught her registrars that what we discovered was important enough to write about, and to tell others about. She told us not to feel inferior just because we don’t work in any of the “leading countries” in dermatology.”