Current Editors: Alex Acosta and Dung Mac

Past Editors: William Tausend, Sheila Jalalat, Rebecca Philips, Chelsea Altinger, Lindsey Hunter, Alison Wiesenthal, Leslie Scroggins, Mara Dacso, Ashley Group, Fadi Constantine, Emily Fridlington, Joslyn Witherspoon, Tasneem Poonawalla.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

UTMB Dermatology Residents and Faculty Teach Medical Students Procedural Basics

The annual dermatologic procedures workshop sponsored by the UTMB DIG was a huge success again this year. Ten UTMB medical students (MS1s, MS2s and MS3s) learned injection techniques on a marshmallow, superficial biopsy techniques on a tomato, and punch biopsies and suturing on a pig’s foot. Our students were voluntarily assisted by PGY3 dermatology residents Drs. Rebecca Philips and Janice Wilson. Dr. Richard Wagner, our DIG faculty advisor, also assisted in this workshop. Thank you MS4 Alex Acosta for organizing this educational event!

Monday, March 23, 2015

UTMB PGY4 Presents Original Dermatology Education Research to National Audience

Congratulations to Dr. Brandon Goodwin (podium), a UTMB PGY4 dermatology chief resident, for presenting his dermatology scholarly project to a national audience in San Francisco on March 23, 2015 in conjunction with the 73rd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology. Dr. Goodwin’s presentation was entitled, “Surgical Flap and Graft Reconstruction Workshop for Dermatology Residents,” and it was presented at the Dermatology Teachers Exchange Group (DTEG) semi-annual meeting. His coauthor on this project was Dr. Richard Wagner, our UTMB Dermatology Program Director. Dr. Goodwin will continue as a dermatopathology fellow in July 2015 upon the completion of his dermatology residency. Dr. Goodwin's co-chief dermatology residents from UTMB, Drs. Lindsey Hunter and Audra Clos attended his presentation, as did UTMB dermataology faculty, Dr. Ashley Group.

Reminder: Procedure Lab on Thursday, 3/26

There are still 2 spots available to participate in the Dermatology procedure lab this Thursday, 3/26! Please write Alex Acosta at kaacosta@utmb.edu if you are interested in participating. The lab will be held in the Dermatology conference room, 4.112 McCullough, on 3/26 at 5pm.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

UTMB MS4s Match into Dermatology Residency Programs

Congratulations to our UTMB senior medical students who found a dermatology match through the NRMP this week:

Vlad Codrea (UTMB)
Zach Jones (Vanderbilt)
Kyle Kaltwasser (UTMB)
Gregory Peterson (Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas)

Friday, March 20, 2015

UTMB Announces PGY2 Dermatology Residents for 2016

Congratulations to the following MS4 medical students who matched through the 2015 NRMP into the 4 available advanced PGY2 dermatology residency positions at UTMB:

Kristin Bunata (UT Houston)
Vlad Codrea (UTMB)
Katelyn Fusilier (LSU)
Kyle Kaltwasser (UTMB)

Welcome to our program! We are excited to have you join us in July 2016!

Photo caption: Dr. Will Tausend (left) congratulates MS4 Kyle Kaltwasser on his successful match into a UTMB Dermatology residency position for 2016 at the annual Match Day UTMB ceremony in Levin Hall. Dr. Tausend begins dermatology residency at UTMB in July 2015.

New University of Texas Chancellor Focus on MD Anderson

According to a front page story in the Friday, March 20, 2015 Houston Chronicle by reporters Todd Ackerman and Eric Berger (“Mending of cancer center pledged: UT chief vows to help leaders, faculty get along,” pages A1 and A13), UT Chancellor William McRaven met with faculty in an attempt to rebuild trust following faculty concerns about “a climate of fear” and “pervasive dissatisfaction” at the institution. McRaven indicated that he will not tolerate “professional retaliation” by MD Anderson administration.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tip for Visiting Dermatology Rotators

Always have a copy of your CV with a photo to give to each faculty you work with during your away rotations. It will help them remember you and demonstrate that you are seriously interested in their residency program.

Format of UTMB Dermatology Interviews for 2015-2016 Academic Year Changed

The UTMB Department of Dermatology has decided to alter its interview style for outside dermatology applicants in 2016. The 2016 interviews are scheduled for Thursday and Friday on February 4th and 5th, but next year there will be an optional dinner for applicants with UTMB dermatology residents the night before the interview. All resident panel and faculty interviews will be in the morning of the interview day, and the interviewees will be released following the last interview. This is different from prior years when there was no pre-interview dinner, all residents and faculty met individually with applicants, and interviews lasted all day with a resident lunch.

Monday, March 16, 2015

All 4 UTMB Dermatology PGY2 Residency Positions for 2016 Filled

Congratulations are in order for the UTMB Dermatology Residency Program for filling all 4 of their available PGY2 residency positions for 2016. They will learn who matched into their program later this week.

Friday, March 13, 2015

How Yale Medical School Does It

Yale is consistently one of the top tier US medical schools. For an interesting perspective about a medical school geared to the adult learner, please read Jenny Blair’s fine article: https://www.yalealumnimagazine.com/articles/3867/med-school-with-less-pain

It is an especially interesting essay to read in light of potential changes in medical school grading policies under consideration at UTMB.

No Dermatology Residency Match: What to do Next?

Some dermatology residency applicants will be very disappointed next Monday, March 16, 2015 when they first learn that they have not matched into a dermatology residency. As usual, well qualified applicants for a dermatology residency will not match this year. There are not enough dermatology residency positions for qualified applicants. Some unsuccessful dermatology applicants will accept positions for their “backup residency” in another specialty and never look back. Those considering reapplying to dermatology will need to evaluate what needs to be done to increase the competitiveness of their application during the next cycle.

How realistic is a dermatology re-application? Re-applicants with Step 1 scores below the average for successful dermatology matches and are not AOA members historically have the most difficult time matching after the first attempt is unsuccessful. Future applicants trend toward even higher Step 1 scores than the prior year. Conventional wisdom suggests that the most likely success for a dermatology match on reapplication probably lies with applicants who have a Step 1 of 250 or higher and are AOA unless other advanced research training such as a PhD has been completed. Failing to initially match with these higher statistics could hinge on a few other factors such as bad luck, not applying to enough programs, strong competition from
co-applicants from the same institution as the applicant, poor interviewing skills, a lukewarm recommendation, not enough letters from academic dermatologists, little published research, lack of Medicare Part B funding for the entire 3 years of dermatology residency due to a previous PGY1 year that limited fully funded training to 3 years (internal medicine, pediatrics, family medicine, etc.), or an underwhelming clinical performance at home/away dermatology rotations. This group can improve their applications through a strong performance (think indispensable) in a 1-3 year dermatology clinical fellowship with numerous publications following a PGY1 transitional year or a PGY1 year spent in a 4 year or longer residency program that is approved by the American Board of Dermatology such as obstetrics/gynecology or general surgery so as not to interfere with full funding for a 3 year dermatology residency.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

DIG Procedural Skills Lab Scheduled for 3/26 at 5pm

Come join the UTMB DIG to learn some Dermatology procedural skills! Current second-year Dermatology residents, Dr. Rebecca Philips and Dr. Janice Wilson, have volunteered their time to teach medical and allied health students essential dermatological procedural skills such as lidocaine injection, punch and shave biopsies, and suturing.  This fun, interactive lab is aimed for MS1, MS2, MS3 and allied health students that are interested in a career in Dermatology.  Due to space restrictions, participation is limited to 10 students.  If you are interested in participating, please email Alex Acosta at kaacosta@utmb.edu to reserve your spot!

When: March 26 at 5pm
Where: Dermatology conference room, 4.112 McCullough

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Characteristics of Residency Applicants to Harvard’s MGH and Brigham

Although probably not typical of most residency applicants (subjects were restricted to residency applicants ranked either MGH and Brigham between 2004 and 2012), the five most important program attribute for applicants was “…the program’s ability to prepare residents for future training or position, resident esprit de corps, faculty availability and involvement in teaching, depth and breadth of faculty, and variety of patients and clinical resources.” (Phitayakorn R, et al. Applicants’ self-reported priorities in selecting a residency program. J Grad Med Educ. 2015;7:21-26). In this study, dermatology was classified as one of the “controllable lifestyle specialties.” Inexplicably, the authors decision to list dermatology with the “nonprocedural specialties” is a possible shortcoming of this research.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

UTMB MS3 has Dermatology Research Honors Project Approved

Congratulations to UTMB MS3 Neil Jackson! His Dermatology Research Honors Project was approved by UTMB’s Institutional Honors Research Program. His proposal is entitled,
 “Understanding Ultraviolet Radiation Dorsal Foot Injury at the Beach.” His dermatology faculty advisor is Dr. Richard Wagner, and his ad hoc dermatology committee members are Drs. Sharon Raimer and Brent Kelly. UTMB MS1 Tim Allen will help collect data for this project. Mr. Jackson’s medical student research is the sole dermatology research honors project approved for the UTMB SOM Class of 2016. No dermatology honors project proposals were submitted from the UTMB SOM Class of 2015.

Friday, March 06, 2015

UTMB to Conduct Annual Melanoma Screening on Saturday, May 16, 2015

DIG members are invited to participated in the free annual melanoma screening clinic offered by UTMB as part of the Houston Dermatological Society on May 16, 2015 from 10 am to 1 pm at the UTMB Dermatology Clinic at Bay Colony in League City.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

UTMB Already Planning Dermatology Residency Interviews for 2016 NRMP

The UTMB DIG has learned the following tentative schedule for UTMB dermatology applicants for 2016:

     October 31, 2015: UTMB dermatology application deadline (complete applications will be reviewed for interviews)

     Friday, December 4, 2015: Optional morning interview for UTMB MS4s and other internal applicants

     December 11, 2015: Interview offers to non-UTMB applicants

     Thursday and Friday, February 4th and 5th, 2016: Interview dates for outside applicants

Monday, March 02, 2015

"Stay Shady!" Looking for Volunteers

The UTMB DIG is looking for volunteers to present "Stay Shady!" to the students at Crenshaw Elementary School.  “Stay Shady!” is an interactive presentation aimed to teach elementary and middle school children about sun safety.

When: Wednesday, March 11th from 8:45am- 9:45am.

Where: Crenshaw Middle School 416 Hwy 87. Crystal Beach 77650

This is a fun teaching experience and a great way to get involved with the DIG! Interested in participating? Please email Kristyna Gleghorn at klglegho@utmb.edu

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Wait is On!

Dermatology applicants and residency programs submitted their match lists to the NRMP by Wednesday, February 25th this week. We are all waiting to hear the results on Match Day 2015 (Friday, March 20, 2015).

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Frances Elaine Smith (9/28/32-2/22/15)

Mrs. Elaine Smith, wife of the late Dr. Edgar B. Smith, passed on February 22, 2015. Following Dr. Smith’s retirement as the Chair of Dermatology at UTMB in 1999 and his death in 2005 , Mrs. Smith remained a strong supporter of the UTMB Department of Dermatology, with keen interest in the ongoing activities of the Edgar B. Smith MD Professorship in Dermatology and the annual Edgar B. Smith MD Scholarship that is awarded annually by dermatology faculty vote to the UTMB MS4 with the best dermatology research completed at UTMB. She proudly followed the academic achievements of UTMB medical students, dermatology residents and dermatology faculty supported through generous funding provided through the Edgar B. Smith MD Professorship. She will be greatly missed by all of us in Galveston. For additional information, please see http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/houstonchronicle/obituary.aspx?n=Frances-Smith-Elaine&pid=174240218

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

More on Self-Awareness

Daniel R. Ames and Abbie S. Wazlawek (Columbia Business School) lend their expertise to inform Wall Street Journal readers (“How to Tell if You’re a Jerk in the Office: Most workers are blissfully unaware of how they come across. And it can cost them.” WSJ, Monday, February 23,  2015, page R2) about the  importance of self-awareness in the workplace, and the role it can play in perceptions by co-workers. They write, “Not realizing how others see you leads to bad decisions and spoiled relationships. And when others sense that you’re clueless about your personality, it can undermine your general stature and credibility.” Ames and Wazlawek suggest that anonymous feedback can provide valuable insight about what co-workers think. A trusted mentor who is willing to provide candid feedback can also provide invaluable feedback. The key is to remember, “…these conversations are an opportunity to learn more, not to defend yourself or provide excuses.”

Monday, February 23, 2015

UTMB PGY4 Chief Dermatology Resident Dr. Lindsey Hunter-Ellul Named to American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Committee

Dr. Lindsey Hunter-Ellul has accepted an appointment to the AAD’s Member Communications Committee that will commence at the end of the upcoming 2015 annual AAD meeting. This important committee serves to provide strategic direction to AAD membership communications. It is a two year term. Congratulations Dr. Hunter-Ellul for this prestigious appointment to a premier dermatology organization!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Annual Dermatology In-Training Examination for Residents

The annual in-training exam (ITE) sponsored by the American Board of Dermatology is scheduled for Thursday, February 19, 2015. This 4 hour online exam gives residents a national reference point about how they compare to dermatology residents from other programs in the same year of training across the nation. At UTMB, dermatology residents take the exam in the morning and have the remainder of the day off from work. Good luck to all of our UTMB dermatology residents on this test!

Houston Chronicle Reports on MD Anderson Faculty Unrest

Houston Chronicle reporter Todd Ackerman's front page story ("MD Anderson faculty cites 'pervasive' discontent", pages A1 and A12, Wednesday, February 18, 2015) updates readers about ongoing faculty concerns about "...controversies over ethics and spending, tenure decisions and concerns that a demand to increase clinical revenues has comromised patient safety."

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Application for Camp Discovery available for summer 2015

Camp Discovery is a program supported by the American Academy of Dermatology. It is a one week summer camp experience, where young people ages 8-16 with a chronic skin condition come together to participate in fun camp activities. It also offers volunteers to learn more about the effects of dermatological conditions as you interact and work with these patients. For more information, please email Janine Meuller, jmueller@aad.org.

Applications for this opportunity are now available (deadline: April 10, 2015)

UTMB Offers Master’s of Medical Science Degree to Current Residents and Fellows

UTMB is now offering one of its house staff the opportunity for specialized education in the hope of creating future translational scientists. The minimal full-time time commitment is one year in this new program, and degree completion requires a peer-reviewed publication that is indexed in PubMed. Application materials may be obtained from:

Gustavo Valbuena, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Pathology
1.116B Keiller building
Tel: 409-747-0763
FAX: 409-747-2429
email: gvalbuen@utmb.edu

Applications are due on 3/2/15.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

UTMB Residents Attend 2015 Annual Dermatology Foundation Clinical Symposia Meeting

PGY4 UTMB Dermatology Chief Residents Drs. Lindsey Hunter-Ellul and Audra Clos attended the annual Dermatology Foundation meeting held on February 4-8, 2015 in Naples, Florida at the Ritz-Carlton.

DIG Meeting Recap

On Monday, February 9, the members of UTMB’s DIG met to discuss upcoming events for the spring semester.  Thank you to everyone that could attend, and for those who had other obligations, here is a recap of what was discussed:

1.     “Stay Shady!”: We have 3 “Stay Shady!” presentations finalized at the moment with potentially one more in the works.

  • The dates are: March 11th Crenshaw Elementary (Prek-4th) 9am; April 7th Odyssey Academy (4-5th); May 7th 2:45 pm Crenshaw (5th-8th)
  • We will be posting on the blog as each date nears looking for volunteers.
  • If you would like to become involved with “Stay Shady!” please contact Kristyna Gleghorn at klglegho@utmb.edu or Alex Acosta at kaacosta@utmb.edu
2.     Melanoma Walk: Planning for the annual Galveston Melanoma Walk is under way with a date on a Saturday morning in April or May (melanoma month) to be set soon.  More information will be posted as it becomes available.

3.     Psoriasis Walk:  The annual Psoriasis Walk is no longer being held in May, and instead will occur on October 10, 2015.  More information to follow concerning exact time, place and ways to make donations.

4.     Annual Bake Sale:  Every year we hold a bake sale to raise funds for the DIG.  This year it will be held on April 15 from 10am-2pm.

  • We need volunteers to both bake goodies and man the table.  More info to follow!
  • If you are interested in helping out and didn’t get a chance to sign the sheet at the meeting, please contact Alex Acosta at kaacosta@utmb.edu
5.     Procedure Lab: Some of UTMB’s Dermatology residents have been generous enough to volunteer their time for a procedure lab.  At this lab, we will learn how to inject lidocaine into marshmallows, preform different types of biopsies on tomatoes, and suture pigs’ feet.  An exact date has not been set, but it will be in March.  More info to be posted as it becomes available!

6.     Upcoming Meetings: We will have another meeting in April for officer elections.  Also at this meeting, we will have a panel of matched 4th year students to answer all of your questions concerning applications, interviews and the match!  More info to follow!

Thanks again to everyone who made it, and we hope to see you later this semester!

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Dr. Sheila Jalalat Featured in January 2015 Cutis Announcement

The 50th Anniversary January 2015 issue celebrating Cutis features a photo of Dr. Sheila Jalalat on page 24, our former UTMB DIG President, along with two other physicians who will be writing for the new “Resident Corner” feature of Cutis. Dr. Jalalat will be starting her dermatology residency at the University of South Florida in Tampa later this year. The UTMB DIG is very proud of your national recognition so early in your career! While at UTMB, Dr. Jalalat was particularly interested in dermatology research, successfully completing her Dermatology Honors Research Project with Cum Laude UTMB SOM graduation research honors and winning the 2014 Edgar B. Smith Award for Excellent Dermatology Research Performed by a Medical Student.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Visiting Dermatology Electives at UTMB

Only three visiting medical students were able to obtain away rotations at UTMB during the first half of the 2014-2015 academic year. Why is it so difficult to do electives at UTMB from another US medical school? UTMB utilizes VSAS (Visiting Student Application Service) for applicants interested in a UTMB rotation. UTMB offers 13 elective periods each year, rather than the more popular monthly schedule. This creates "period mismatch" when period starting dates are not exactly the same as the visitor's medical school. According to the AAMC VSAS website, UTMB is not flexible when it comes to off block rotation requests. It is unfortunate that visiting medical students find it so difficult to rotate in the UTMB dermatology department, because our institution offers a wide array of interesting clinical and didactic electives. UTMB medical students, residents and faculty enjoy educational interactions with students from other medical schools as well. Away rotations are known to help applicants match into specific residency programs and help programs identify competitive applicants, but currently these opportunities are very limited at UTMB. For additional information about the application process for UTMB electives, please review the AAMC VSAS website at https://services.aamc.org/20/vsas/public/school/instID/174


Self-awareness is the ability to understand yourself and it is necessary to be self-aware in order to understand how you are perceived by others. It is a valued skill in organizations, and is often evaluated during job interviews by the questions such as, “What is your greatest weakness?” Much has been written on this topic, and a good starting point to learn more about it can be found at: http://www.purerocketfuel.com/coaching/why-is-self-awareness-critical-in-the-workplace/