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.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Required Reading for All 2015 Dermatology Residency Applicants

The 2014 Charting Outcomes of the Match ( http://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Charting-Outcomes-2014-Final.pdf ) is must reading for current dermatology applicants because it is the best source to evaluate chances of matching in the upcoming 2015 NRMP into a dermatology residency (pages 44-56). Some of the information is expected for MS4s, such as:

-Applicants with a PhD almost always match (other graduate degrees don't seem to help very much)

-AOA membership is a huge advantage for matching (over 50% of spots go to AOA members)

-A Step 1 score of 241 or better increases the chances for a dermatology match (averaged matched applicant has a 247 Step 1, while average unmatched applicant has a 239)

-About 9 interviews were needed to rank 9 contiguous dermatology programs (greatly increase chance of a match)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

UTMB Academy of Master Teachers Recognize Outstanding Teaching Each Month

In an effort to recognize excellent teaching, the UTMB Academy of Master Teachers is encouraging UTMB medical students, graduate students, residents, fellows and faculty to nominate outstanding teachers. Nominations may be submitted via http://www.utmb.edu/amt/Educator_of_the_Month.html. Make it a habit to reward excellent teaching with your nomination, so that excellent teachers receive institutional recognition for their efforts!

Skin Research Funding Available for Medical Student Research in 2015

Medical students are invited by the American Skin Association to submit grant proposals about melanoma and skin cancer for potential funding up to $7000. There is an October 18, 2014 deadline. See link below for the application:
American Skin Association Medical Student Grants (For 2014 Applicants).pdf

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Multiple Positions Available on the Subcommittees of the Vitiligo Working Group (VWG)

The VWG is composed of numerous, highly respected academic and private practice Dermatologists that periodically meet throughout the year on conference calls to discuss various aspects of vitiligo, including published consensus/guidelines. These positions are a great opportunity to network and learn from experts in the field.

If you are interested in one of these positions, please send an email to Alex Acosta at kaacosta@utmb.edu for more information.

Recommended Reading for Dermatology Residency Applicants

The September 2014 issue of Texas Medicine (“Match-makers: Coaching students to maximum match potential,”, pages 47-51) details the experience of a senior medical student from Houston who did not match into his first choice competitive residency (ENT) despite academic advisement that he was “…an ideal candidate.” He went through SOAP (Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program) and matched into a pathology residency. He is enjoying his new specialty, but advises, “But just in case the worst happens, have a plan B ready that you came up with when you were in a normal mental and emotional state. And be realistic.”

Monday, September 08, 2014

First DIG Meeting of the Year with Program Director Dr. Wagner!

Join us for a Q&A Session with Dr. Richard Wagner, the UTMB Department of Dermatology Residency Program Director. This session is a great way to get information on topics such as residency applications, matching, research and more!

Where: Dermatology conference room, 4.112 McCullough Building

When: Monday, September 22, 2014 at 5pm

Have any questions? Email Alex Acosta at kaacosta@utmb.edu

Friday, September 05, 2014

UTMB Recovery Front Page News

Houston Chronicle reporter Harvey Rice has a front page story in the 9/5/14 about UTMB's recovery since Hurricane Ike in 2008 (UTMB makes full recovery, Houston Chronicle, Friday, September 5, 2014, pages A1, A10). He provides a summary of institutional events following Hurricane Ike, including UTMB's expansion onto the mainland and the decrease in charity care that the institution now provides (3128 uninsured patients treated in 2008 dropped to to 233 in 2011 according to the Galveston County Free Care Monitoring Project). 

Galveston County on Mosquito Alert

The Galveston Daily News alerted readers via its front page headline (Alex Macon, Mosquito control warns of bloodsucker invasion: Officials say massive hatching of saltwater mosquitoes expected to swarm across county; crews to begin spraying, Friday, September 5, 2013, pages A1, A4) of impending mosquito hatching. According to the report, it is due to abnormally high tides (about 2 feet higher than normal).

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

UTMB Penalized $900,000?

According to Galveston County Daily News Reporter Laura Elder (“UTMB to pay penalties under federal program to fight hospital infections,” Sunday, August 31, 2014, pages A1, A11), UTMB may be required to pay $900,000 in penalties due to patient infections and injuries.  Hospitals are graded by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and need a score of 7 or less to avoid financial penalties. UTMB scored 7.4. Parkland (Dallas) rated 8.675 and UT Southwestern University Hospital was 7.375. Data was compiled during 2012 and 2013. According to this news report, since over half of US teaching hospitals may be subject to this penalty, it may not be a fair comparison with other hospitals. This is because US teaching hospitals may be providing care for patients with more severe illnesses and more likely to develop complications such as infections.

All UTMB 2014 Completing Dermatology Residents Pass Dermatology Boards

All three UTMB Dermatology Residents who completed our dermatology residency program passed the American Board of Dermatology Certification Examination given in July 2014 on their first attempt, and are now Diplomats of the American Board of Dermatology. Congratulations to Drs. Jason Jones, Megan Moody-Neill, and Samantha Robare-Stout for their excellent academic accomplishment! All are currently in private dermatology practice. For a complete list of new ABD Diplomats, please see http://www.abderm.org/home/cert_dipls.pdf

Saturday, August 30, 2014

What Every Dermatology Applicant Should Know: The Perils of PGY1 Preliminary Year in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Family Medicine (If You Don’t Match Concurrently for a PGY2 Advanced Dermatology Residency Position)

Close reading of AAMC’s 2013 “Medicare Payments for Graduate Medical Education:
What Every Medical Student, Resident, and Advisor Needs to Know,” (available at: http://www.uth.tmc.edu/med/administration/edu_programs/Assets/documents/gme/medicare_payments_gme.pdf ) indicates that great care is potentially needed by dermatology residency applicants in selecting their PGY1 year if they fail to match into categorical dermatology (4 year program that includes internship) or advanced dermatology (3 year program that begins in the PGY2 year). Dermatology applicants who fail to initially match into dermatology residency but match for preliminary PGY1 residency positions in any three year residency (internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, etc) are determined to have an initial residency period (IRP) of only three years. This cannot be changed. Even if the future dermatology applicant leaves their program following completion of the PGY1 preliminary year and take a nonaccredited clinical dermatology fellowship in an attempt to improve their application competitiveness, they only have 2 years left of Medicare Graduate Medical Education funding available due to the initial IRP determination. This could be a factor when they reapply for a dermatology residency if Medicare residency funding issues are considered. In this type of scenario, it is much better for the PGY1 year to be transitional (IRP not determined until PGY2 program started) or a preliminary PGY1 position in another specialty such as general surgery that has a longer IRP, because the IRP for general surgery is 5 years. A 5 year IRP designation would allow for complete dermatology residency funding should a position be obtained in the future and general surgical training did not extend beyond the PGY2 year.

If a dermatology applicant matches for both the PGY1 and an advanced dermatology position during the same NRMP, it does not matter if the PGY1 year was transitional or preliminary. All three years of dermatology residency will be covered and funding is not an issue.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

“Must Read” Research Article for Current Dermatology Applicants

Thanks to authors Farzam Gorouhi, Ali Alikhan , Arash Rezaei, and Nasim Fazel for their valuable research article about the preferences of program directors for dermatology residency selection (Dermatology Residency Selection Criteria with an Emphasis on Program Characteristics: A National Program Director Survey, Dermatology Research and Practice, Volume 2014, http://www.hindawi.com/journals/drp/2014/692760/ ). In their national survey of dermatology program directors, they found that the usual criteria (interview, recommendation letters, Step 1 score, transcript, and clinical rotations) were the top 5 criteria. The interview was the most important factor. Some programs also placed importance on other applicant aspects, such as advanced degrees, interest in academics, medical school rank, and publications. Previous failure to match into dermatology was identified as a possible barrier to a match in the future.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

New Funding Mechanism on Horizon for Dermatology Residency--Will Future Residents Pay Tuition?

The August 28, 2014 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine reminds us that current funding patterns for graduate medical education (residency) by Medicare are not guaranteed. Authors David A. Asch and Debra F. Weinstein ["Innovation in Medical Education," 371(9):794-795] wrote that in the future, innovative graduate medical education funding may make "...larger payments to direct trainees toward undersupplied specialties or geographic areas, or eliminating stipends--or even charging tuition--for subspecialties that are oversubscribed."

Monday, August 18, 2014

Dermatology RRC Suspends Medical Dermatology Case Log Requirement

ACGME's Dermatology Residency Review Committee (RRC) has suspended the newly implemented July 1, 2014 requirement for dermatology residents to record specific medical dermatology cases and medication use until further notice. The Dermatology RRC hopes to simplify reporting before this medical dermatology requirement is restored. However, dermatologic surgical procedures still must be reported.

Dermatology Resident Competes in Reality TV Show

First year dermatology resident at Cleveland's Metro Health Center Dr. Angela Funovits is competing for a $10,000 prize on the reality TV show, "Wizard Wars."For additional information please see: http://www.npr.org/2014/08/17/340633697/on-wizard-wars-contestants-must-make-magic-from-the-mundane  The UTMB DIG wishes you the best of luck in this competition!

Friday, August 08, 2014

International Porphyria Expert Lectures UTMB Dermatology Department

Internationally recognized porphyria researcher and expert, Dr. Karl E. Anderson, provided an outstanding lecture about the porphyrias to UTMB dermatology residents, faculty and medical students on Friday, August 8, 2014. Dr. Anderson is Professor of Preventative Medicine and Community Health, Internal Medicine and Pharmacy and Toxicology at UTMB. Thanks to Dr. Brandon Goodwin, UTMB PGY4 Dermatology Chief Academic Resident, for organizing this lecture series of campus experts from other academic departments who greatly contribute to our understanding about disease pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

UTMB Dermatology Clinics Welcome POM2 Medical Students

The UTMB Department of Dermatology will participate in UTMB’s required POM2 (Practice of Medicine 2) medical student education class during the 2014-2015 academic year. Two medical students will participate in morning dermatology clinics in the UHC, while another will travel to the UTMB Dermatology Clinic at Bay Colony in League City. The clinics will host POM2 students on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday mornings. Every POM2 student will have an opportunity to rotate through our dermatology clinics. POM2 students will have an opportunity to interact with UTMB dermatology residents and faculty, and see a variety of patients with skin diseases. They will also have the opportunity to view dermatologic procedures such as diagnostic tests and the treatment of skin cancers. They will present their clinical experiences to their faculty facilitator during scheduled POM2 class meetings. This is an excellent opportunity for UTMB medical students to gain exposure to dermatology early during their medical education.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Does Dermatology Residency Program Matter for Dermatologic Surgery or Dermatopathology Fellowship Offers?

Yes, where you take dermatology residency appears to matter if you plan on subspecialization in dermatologic surgery (Mohs) or dermatopathology. Fellowship training positions in these subspecialties are very limited, and excellent performing residents from within home dermatology training programs offering these fellowships will likely have the best professional connections to receive a fellowship offer there. These residents also usually have the opportunity to participate in research with the fellowship director, further cementing their desirability as a future fellow. Medical students who know that they want to take a procedural dermatology or a dermatopathology fellowship following dermatology residency are best advised to rank programs offering those fellowships higher on their rank lists, and hope for the best!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Boston University Intends to Extend Dermatology Training to 6 Years

Boston University plans on changing its dermatology training program from the current standard 3 years to 6 years starting in July 2016. Applicants in the current match cycle should understand that matching into the Boston University Dermatology Program will require a 6 year academic commitment. This will be accomplished by having its new dermatology residents complete the standard 3-year ACGME dermatology residency. Graduates will then remain an additional three years as Assistant Professors of Dermatology at Boston University where they will continue to develop academic niche areas in dermatology subspecialties. This type of academic restructuring has previously been attempted at another institution without success. It will be interesting to see how Boston University fares in its innovative change with dermatology education.

Monday, June 30, 2014

UTMB Dermatology Residents and Faculty Rate Program Highly

The results of the 2014 resident and faculty survey for the UTMB Department of Dermatology have been released by the ACGME. 91% of UTMB’s 10 dermatology residents rated the program “very positive” (the highest rating available), while one resident rated the program as “positive.” 100% of the 8 dermatology faculty surveyed reported that the program rated “very positive.” Congratulations on achieving such outstanding ratings!